Country Listing

Latvia Table of Contents



Gross National Product (GNP): Estimated at US$5.1 billion in 1992; per capita income US$4,810 (1993 estimate). Gross domestic product (GDP) increased from LVL1.6 billion in 1993 to an estimated LVL2.2 billion in 1994. Real GDP fell 33.8 percent in 1992 and 11.7 percent in 1993, but grew an estimated 2.0 percent in 1994. Inflation rate averaged less than 3 percent per month in 1993 and less than 2.4 percent per month in 1994; annual inflation rate decreased from more than 958 percent in 1992 to 35 percent in 1993 and 28 percent in 1994.

Agriculture: Supplanted by industry as foremost economic sector in postwar era. Aggressive capital formation and forced labor movements under Soviet rule reduced agriculture's share of labor force from 66 percent in 1930 to about 16 percent in 1990. Accounted for 20 percent of GDP in 1990 and 15 percent of GDP in 1994. Livestock main subsector. Nearly 1.7 million hectares of arable land, used mainly for growing fodder crops and grain. Number of private farms increased from nearly 4,000 in 1989 to more than 57,500 in 1993.

Industry and Mining: Foremost economic sector during Soviet period; employed more than 30 percent of labor force in 1990. Supplanted by services subsequently; share of GDP declined from about 43 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 1994. Production declined sharply in 1992 and 1993. Highly dependent on energy and raw material imports. Main industries engineering (including machine building and electronics), textiles, food, wood and paper, chemicals, and building materials.

Energy: Relies heavily on imports of fuels and electric power. Energy generated domestically by three hydroelectric power plants on Daugava River and two thermal power plants near Riga.

Exports: LVL701.6 million (1993 estimate). Major commodi-ties oil products, wood and timber, food products, metals, and buses.

Imports: LVL647.4 million (1993 estimate). Major commodi-ties oil, natural gas, machinery, electric power, and automo-biles.

Major Trading Partners: Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Sweden, Belarus, Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, and Britain.

Currency and Exchange Rate: 1 lats (LVL) = 100 santims. Lats reintroduced in March 1993, replacing Latvian ruble in October 1993 at rate of 1 lats = 200 Latvian rubles. In March 1996, LVL0.55 = US$1.

Fiscal Year: Calendar year.

Data as of January 1995