Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Latvia’s economy

Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, economic impact, crisis, growth of Latvia’s economy
Language: In Latvian

The article analyses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Latvia’s economy till February 2021. The article is divided into two parts. The first part shows the results of the survey on the effects of the pandemic, organised by the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. The aim of the survey was to clarify the view of leaders of various organisations, employees and experts regarding the economic impact of the pandemic on Latvia’s economy and the desired economic development scenario after the pandemic. The survey was conducted from 21 April to 30 April 2020, i.e. at the time when the state of emergency had already been announced and extended and alarming forecasts were stated of the impact of the pandemic on the economy as a whole, and on certain sectors, but no threats were raised yet about the possibility of the second and third wave of the pandemic. The results of the survey show that during the time of the survey the response of the participants (leaders of responding organisations, employees and experts) to the effects of the pandemic was controlled and optimistic. In the second part of the article, the impacts of the pandemic are analysed on the basis of available statistics. Not only are the impacts of the first wave of the pandemic (spring 2020) assessed, but also those of the second wave (started in autumn 2020), as far as data availability permits. It has been confirmed that during the first wave of the pandemic the economic development, with the exception of certain sectors and external trade, was stable and, although the pace of growth decreased due to the downturn of these sectors, there was no serious threat of crisis. In autumn 2020, the macroeconomic indicators of Latvia’s economy improved. During the second wave of the pandemic, the impact, as far as it was assessed until February 2021, was more tangible but not critical. The third wave of the pandemic had not yet begun while the article was being prepared, but the state was getting ready for it.