The Latvian business mood is the best of the last five years in the autumn and has reached optimism even before the crisis for big companies, according to the Citadele Index.
The mood of Latvian entrepreneurs improved in the autumn and the Citadele Index is 52.4 points, compared with an index of 51.3 in the previous quarter. This is the most optimistic mood for entrepreneurs since the beginning of 2013, when the Citadele index was equal.
Moreover, the sentiment of large entrepreneurs in Latvia has reached unprecedented optimism and is at pre-crisis level. This year, with more than 250 employees, the Citadele index is 62.5 points, the highest index since the end of 2006 when it was 63.5 points.
Small and medium enterprises are more cautious. With Index 57, managers with a staff of between 50 and 249 are optimists.
The index for small companies employing between 10 and 49 employees is 52.6 and the optimism of micro-enterprises is more cautious – 50.6 points.
Martins Āboliņš, economist at Citadele Bank, says that the growing economy and the optimism of entrepreneurs are generally good news. However, it should be noted that small businesses still do not seem to feel this positive wave in the economy.
Finally, all indexing sections – country and industry activity, industry competition, company turnover, profitability, financial situation, number of employees and investment are positively evaluated.
In the last quarter, the profitability and financial situation of entrepreneurs was still pessimistic. Similarly, the mood of companies in the trade and services sector tends to improve, while production and construction, which have long been the most optimistic sectors in Latvia, are less optimistic.
Optimistic sentiment is reflected in all areas of the economy, and there has been a significant improvement in the service sector's mood in the fourth quarter, with the index rising to 52.9.
A similar level of optimism with a 52.6 index is in construction, while manufacturing and business sector managers are slightly less optimistic – their index is 52.7 and 51.4 respectively.
The IT sector is optimistic about services, while cautious optimists are providers of education, transportation and storage services.
Overall, the mood improved for both the export and the domestic market. The index of exporters is 55, while the optimism of non-exporting companies is 51.26 points.
Citadele Index is a study conducted since 2004 by Citadele Bank in Latvia. Quarterly survey of 750 entrepreneurs and their executives is ongoing.
Surveys and data collection are provided by the SKDS market research and public opinion polling center. The study was expressed by manufacturers, retailers, builders and service providers from all regions of Latvia.