The latest Citadele Index study that has been conducted by the Citadele Bank together with the market and public opinion research centre SKDS shows that 57% of companies in Latvia, which export their products, plan to increase the volume of exports this year in comparison to 2011.
The index shows that 41% of companies plan to increase exports by 10%, 38% hope to increase exports by 11 to 30%, 9% expect to increase exports by 31 to 50%, which would be a major increase, and 9% are even ready to say that they will increase exports by more than 50% in comparison to last year.
“Economic recovery in external markets has been quite quick over the past three years, and companies in our country have made good use of this,” says the Citadele Bank’s chief economist, Zigurds Vaikulis. “Companies in the processing industries have returned to approximately 80% of the pre-crisis level, and that has been specifically thanks to increases in exports. I believe that this successful experience over the past three years is the main reason why Latvian entrepreneurs continue to demonstrate optimism about further export increases despite the negative background of the euro zone’s debt crisis and a lack of clarity about the future of Europe’s economy.”
At the end of 2011, 20% of those entrepreneurs whose companies export goods or services told the Citadele Index that they were exporting between 81 and 100% of overall value of their products or services, 12% exported 51 to 80%, 34% exported between 11 and 33%, and 33% of companies exported 10% of their overall products or services.
“Exports from Latvia are continuing to increase, but the growth rate is slowing down,” says Vaikulis. “Trends in the euro zone at this time are not very positive. Finding new markets and expanding the base of partners and products can only maintain comparatively rapid export growth under such circumstances. I hope that this is the true reason for optimism among exporters.”
The key task of Citadele Index is to obtain a unified index that characterizes entrepreneurs’ subjective assessment of economic conditions in the state. Citadele Index is calculated by summing up and assessing poll results obtained from managers of 750 enterprises of various volumes and representing various industries. The index also reflects entrepreneurs’ opinion and situation prognoses for economic activity in the State, economic activity in different industries and various business activity indices: profitability, turnover, financial condition, number of employees, amount of investments. Current Citadele Index was conducted in December 2011.
Citadele is the largest local bank in Latvia which offers banking, financial and asset management services. Citadele Group is represented in the local Latvian market and 10 other countries. It is the only collaboration partner of American Express® in Latvia and Lithuania who is entitled to issue American Express credit cards. Presently, 75% of its shares are owned by Privatization Agency and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development possesses 25% plus one of its shares.
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