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Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Since its independence, Latvia has implemented market-oriented reforms. The country's economy has performed well due to steady growth in domestic consumption and the contribution of foreign investment. As a member of the EU since 2004 (and of the Eurozone since 2014), it has benefited from substantial European funding. The growth rate has been positive since 2011 and was among the highest in the EU countries before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the IMF estimates, real GDP grew 2.5% in 2022 (1.8% as per the EU Commission) underpinned by strong growth in private consumption. Given the carry-over effect of the decline in activity in the second half of the year, growth is expected to remain lacklustre in 2023, with the EU Commission expecting a 0.1% growth rate over the year, followed by an uptick in 2024 (+2.7%).

Latvia's macroeconomic indicators are generally positive, as the country pursues tax and labour reforms in accordance with its stability programme. In 2022, the budget deficit was estimated at 6.1% of GDP by the IMF as the government energy support measures cost EUR 445 million. No funds have so far been allocated for the heating season 2023/2024, while the one-off investments linked to national security should amount to 0.8% of GDP: overall, the IMF expects the budget deficit to shrink to 2.2% of GDP this year and 1.5% in 2024, as the government plans to reduce the structural deficit to 0.5% of GDP by 2025. The government debt-to-GDP ratio increased marginally to 46% in 2022 but is expected to follow a downward trend over the forecast horizon, reaching 43.7% by 2024. The government's interest payments will increase to 2.2% of revenue in 2023-24, from 1.3% of revenue in 2021 (Fitch Ratings). Driven by rapid energy price increases, inflation reached the record level of 16.5% in 2022 and is forecast to remain in double digits through most of the first semester of 2023, before easing gradually to an annual average of 8% and returning closer to the ECB’s target the following year (2.9%).

The unemployment rate stood at 7.4% in 2022. In 2023, the effects of inflation will cause negative real wage growth, and low consumer sentiment will likely shrink household consumption. Overall, the IMF forecasts an unemployment rate of 7.2%. Latvia has to face a strong emigration of skilled youth and the country has one of the lowest population growth rates in the EU (-0.8% in 2021 - World Bank, latest data available), with birth numbers declining continuously. The latest data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that 22.5% of the country’s population are at risk of poverty. The GDP per capita (PPP) was estimated at USD 38,124 in 2022 by the IMF.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 41.1746.6750.3554.0957.46
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 21,94724,92926,95229,01030,877
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -4.3-2.8-1.8-1.5-1.8
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 40.840.639.538.738.3
Inflation Rate (%) n/a9.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -1.93-1.39-1.19-1.19-1.24
Current Account (in % of GDP) -4.7-3.0-2.4-2.2-2.2

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: November 2023