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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Latvia Economy

Latvia    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: In 2000, Latvia's transitional economy recovered from the 1998 Russian financial crisis, largely due to the SKELE government's budget stringency and a gradual reorientation of exports toward EU countries, lessening Latvia's trade dependency on Russia. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999 - the first Baltic state to join - and was invited at the Helsinki EU Summit in December 1999 to begin accession talks in early 2000. Unemployment fell to 7.8% in 2000, down from 9.6% in 1999, and 9.2% in 1998. Privatization of large state-owned utilities and the shipping industry faced more delays in 2000, and political instability will continue to delay completion of the privatization process over the next year. Latvia projects 6% GDP growth, 2.5%-3.0% inflation, and a 1.7% fiscal deficit in 2001. Preparing for EU membership over the next few years remains a top foreign policy goal.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $17.3 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  5%

industry:  33%

services:  62% (1999)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2.9%

highest 10%:  25.9% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.7% (2000)
Labor force: 1.4 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 10%, industry 25%, services 65% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $1.33 billion

expenditures:  $1.27 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; note - dependent on imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products
Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.996 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  31.78%

hydro:  68.22%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 4.316 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 400 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 1 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
Exports: $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: wood and wood products, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners: Germany 16%, UK 11%, Sweden 11%, Russia 7% (1999)
Imports: $3.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels
Imports - partners: Russia 15%, Germany 10%, Finland 9%, Sweden 7% (1999)
Debt - external: $800 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $96.2 million (1995)
Currency: Latvian lat (LVL)
Currency code: LVL
Exchange rates: lati per US dollar - 0.614 (January 2001), 0.607 (2000), 0.585 (1999), 0.590 (1998), 0.581 (1997), 0.551 (1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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