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Also in December business environment of entrepreneurs is below zero in all business sectors

Data of business tendency surveys1 carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in December 2021, as values still remained negative, business confidence indicators slightly improved in retail trade and services sector, in industry they remained stable, but in construction business environment continued worsening.

Business confidence indicators characterize general situation in the sector and they are acquired by carrying out business surveys in industry, construction, retail trade and services sector. If the indicator is above zero, business environment is positive, if it is below zero – business environment is negative.

In retail trade business environment negative for already third month

According to seasonally adjusted data, in December confidence indicator in retail trade comprised -1.2. As compared to November, this indicator has improved by 2.8 percentage points. Environment indicators are negative in almost all sub-sectors of retail trade. A drop, as compared to November, was both in retail trade of food and of non-food products, where confidence indicators have dropped to -8.2 and -20.1, respectively. Fuel retailers were the most pessimistic in December (-34.8). In turn, business environment in trade of motor vehicles, compared to the previous month, has risen significantly and reached positive value (5.6), but in sale of motor vehicle parts, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles – reduced by four percentage points and already for the second consequent month is negative (-13.9).

The share of retail sale enterprises feeling no factors restricting their economic activity comprised 16 % in December. This indicator is not changing significantly for already three consequent months. In turn, 45 % of retailers have indicated that their economic activity was significantly restricted by the impact of Covid-19; compared to November, this indicator has fallen by 5 percentage points.

In services sector the most optimistic were providers of postal and courier activities

Also in services sector, according to seasonally adjusted data, in December 2021 business environment has slightly improved, however, confidence is still negative (-0.7). As compared to November, this indicator has grown by 1.8 percentage points. As usual, indicators of environment differ significantly in various services sectors, and also trend of their changes differ depending on the specificities of the sector, seasonal impact and to what extent Covid-19 pandemic affects the sector. Business environment continues to worsen significantly in accommodation sector where confidence, compared to November, has reduced by another 15 percentage points, reaching -65.0, which is the lowest indicator in services sector in December. Significant fall of 20 percentage points was also observed in travel agency and tour operator booking services, where business environment in March-November was positive, but in December confidence dropped below zero (- 20.9). In turn, the most optimistic during the Christmas month were loaded providers of postal and courier activities (35.8). In general environment in December was positive in 9 out of 30 services sectors surveyed.

In December, 29 % of respondents of services sector have not felt any factor restricting economic activity. Compared to November, their share has increased by 2 percentage points. The share of respondents indicating that consequences caused by Covid-19 is a significant factor restricting successful economic activity, already for the third consequent month remains stable at the level of 28 %.

In construction confidence indicator still continues to reduce

In December 2021, according to seasonally adjusted data, confidence indicator in construction comprised -13.3 (compared to the previous month, reduction of 0.7 percentage points), and it was affected by a more negative assessment of entrepreneurs regarding level of construction orders, as well as a more pessimistic assessment on the development of employment in the following three months. Confidence indicator decreased in construction of buildings and specialized construction activities, but slightly improved in civil engineering.

In December construction sector was the mostly affected by bad weather conditions (indicated by 43 % of respondents, which is two times more than in the previous month).

The same as in November, the second most often factor restricting activity of entrepreneurs indicated was insufficient demand (indicated by 29 % of entrepreneurs surveyed). In December, 8 % of enterprises indicated negative impact of Covid-19, which, compared to the previous month, has reduced by three percentage points. In December, economic activity of 12 % of construction enterprises surveyed was not affected by any restrictive factor (drop of 14 percentage points, as compared to December 2020).

Confidence indicator in manufacturing is rather stable

In December confidence indicator in manufacturing was -1.7 (0.2 percentage points more than in November), which was affected by slightly more positive forecasts of enterprises regarding production activity of their enterprise in the next three months. The largest increase of confidence indicator, as compared to the previous month, was in such manufacturing sectors as manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers, manufacture of beverages, manufacture of rubber and plastic products, as well as manufacture of electrical equipment. But drop was observed in printing and reproduction of recorded media, manufacture of paper and paper products, manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment, as well as manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork.

In December, 10 % of enterprises surveyed indicated impact of Covid-19 (compared to November, reduction of three percentage points). In December 2021, economic activity of 30 % of manufacturing enterprises surveyed was not affected by any restrictive factor.

In December 2021 economic sentiment indicator comprised 99.83, (98.0 – in the previous month). Economic sentiment indicator characterizes general socio-economic situation in the country during a certain period of time (month), and it is calculated by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs for all EU countries according to a common methodology, taking 15 various seasonally adjusted components included in industry, construction, retail trade and services sector, as well as in consumer confidence indicator, as a basis.

1Business surveys in industry, construction, retail trade and services sector are carried out by the CSB monthly, accordingly methodology of the Joint Harmonised EU Programme of Business and Consumer Surveys co-financed by the European Commission.


2Net (balance) is calculated as difference between positive and negative answers of entrepreneurs surveyed, which are expressed in per cent.


3Value of the indicator exceeding 100 means that numeric characteristic of the economic situation exceeds long-term average value (2000–2020). While value of the indicator smaller than 100 means that characteristic of economic situation is below long-term average value.


Media requests:
Communication Section
Phone: +371 27880666

More information on data:
Ieva Vanaga
Trade and Services Statistics Section
Phone: +371 67366738

Madara Liepiņa
Industrial and Construction Statistics Section
Phone: +371 67366953