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During the period of 1996-2004 (prior to EU) the average annual growth of GDP in Latvia was 8.19% (LT 7.79%, EE 7.93% ). During the subsequent period of 2004-2010 the average growth of GDP in Latvia and even Estonia (!) was negative while in Lithuania it was just about 1%.
One may argue that we have done many things wrong. However, Estonia has done almost everything right, still it’s ‘success’ is far from spectacular. So it seems that the neoliberal advice does not work, or what?
You have rightly mentioned in your former blogs that convergence is far from automatic, that we have to focus on supply side as the enabler of long term growth.
I guess there should be no question that to boost the supply side the investment in productive sector and human capital is much needed. Sure, we have to make it more attractive to invest here, but how exactly? I believe we need to discuss this matter much, much more, if we want that reasonable action ever follows.
The ONLY source of investment is savings; still we never even touch this subject. Do you suggest that FDI i.e. foreign savings are sufficient for the sustainable growth and convergence? I guess not only Baltic experience, but history of the world economy overwhelmingly tells – it’s NOT!
Or you think I’m wrong here?
Do you have guts to discuss the role of NATIONAL SAVINGS as well? And policies that prevent or stimulate them.
Hopefully it will be a government without your creepy stalker, Armands “I’ll play you a tune on my harmonica” Strazds.
Dzintars > Aivars Laicāns
It is true that Mr Strazds and I disagree on more issues than we can perhaps count but I admire him for being part of the debate.
And the least we could do when debating is sticking to a reasonably decent tone, please.
arturs_kucs > Aivars Laicāns
Bravo, Morton! I enjoy Armands’s contribitions because they shake up what would otherwise be a rather staid debate (imho).
does those graph contains some data about grey/black part of economy?
it quite worthless to show such figures, if we can not include about 30-40% of data!!!! -20% in private consumption?:D looking from people crowds in shopping malls, and incredible money amount in cash-in ATMs in LV…i would say it will be at least +10% in real life.
Dzintars > anita_meistere
The data is not worthless. Another way to establish that consumption is down is to look at unemployment. Consumption is the biggest part of the economy (some 60-65%); thus if consumption has dropped this should be seen in terms of lower employment/higher unemployment – and that is exactly what we have (unfortunately).
anita_meistere > anita_meistere
thank you for answer. that is abolutly true, but do we have relevant data about unemployment???
i guess no…illegal unemployment and totaly unprecise data of Latvian total population (we don have such numers jet!) can make huge corrections to this figures. nobody knows, what are those 11%! how many of them are outside country, without letting our officials to know that.
Dzintars > anita_meistere
The unemployment numbers should also be decent. The most trustworthy is the survey-based one where people respond about their situation. of course they may not tell the truth but there is nothing to fear from doing so while I agree that the number of registered unemployed can be problematic (some register but are not really unemployed, some stop registering when they can no longer get benefits, although they are still unemployed).
Moreover, for me it is not so important whether unemployment is 15.5% or 16.2% – this is macrodata and can be (and is…) imprecise but what matters to me is whether unemployment is big or small and the data is good enough to say that it is big.