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Assessment by inhabitants on the economic situation in Latvia is improving

Riga, December 27, 2012 Within the last year and a half the opinion of inhabitants in Latvia on the country’s economic situation has improved considerably, and the assessment of the current situation is equivalent to the one in the pre-crisis period. The survey performed this autumn by the research agency TNS among the inhabitants of Latvia aged 15 through 74 shows this.

Assessment of the economic situation in Latvia*
How would you evaluate the current economic situation in Latvia?

*Index – average assessment on the scale from -5 (very poor) till +5 (very good).
Base: Inhabitants in Latvia aged 15 through 74, n=1014.
Data: TNS

Although in general inhabitants in Latvia still more often provide a negative assessment of the current economic situation (54% choose negative values from -1 till -5 on the scale from -5 „very poor” till +5 „very good” economic situation), the proportion of such negatively-minded ones has reduced considerably within the last year and a half. From 84% in May 2011 to 54% in October 2012. Accordingly at the same time there has increased the number of neutrally or positively-minded inhabitants, besides the proportion of positively-minded inhabitants has quadrupled during this period (from 6% last spring to 24% this autumn).

The unemployed, persons living in Latgale and inhabitants of other nationalities more often evaluate the economic situation as poor. Whereas a better assessment is among the inhabitants of the Latvian nationality. Likewise there can be noticed a coherence between the family income and the assessment of the economic situation – the higher the level of family income, the better also the assessment of the overall economic situation in Latvia.

TNS Finance sector research expert Ilva Pudule comments: „It has to be noted that the opinion of inhabitants on economic processes and current financial or economic issues to a large extent is affected by what they see and hear in mass media, especially on television and internet. Moreover the role of internet as the information source on economic issues during the last year has increased considerably. Therefore consequently inhabitants name more often as topical those issues which at that time in mass media are brought more in the forefront and which at the same time relate to the personal experience of the particular person, as well as his/her relatives, friends or acquaintances.”

In October 2012 inhabitants more often named the unemployment as the most alarming problem in Latvia’s economy – it bothered more than half the population (52%). Another significant part of inhabitants was concerned about the low standard of living, poverty (it was named by 35% of inhabitants), prices and rates (34%) and social guarantees as, for example, pensions, benefits etc. (34%). Just 1% of inhabitants in October worried about the currently so topical issue – transition to the euro.

In general it can be concluded that a part of inhabitants feel the improvement of the Latvian macroeconomic situation also in their wallets and it strengthens their confidence about the positive economic situation in Latvia. Also in the whole society in general the notion about the country’s economic situation improve, which in its turn can promote the increase of the demand for different goods and services and consequently facilitate the development of the national economy in Latvia.

About the research

The research agency TNS performed the public survey during the period from October 12 till 28, 2012, surveying 1014 inhabitants aged 15 through 74 in the whole territory of Latvia. The sample of the survey represent the total body of inhabitants in Latvia in this age group, and the results of the research display the opinions of about 1,7 million inhabitants of this country.

About TNS in Latvia

TNS is the leading full service market, social and media research agency in Latvia. We offer our clients a wide range of research types such as consumer opinion survey, company's reputation and staff satisfaction evaluation, brand recognition and brand image study, product tests, mystery shopping, as well as media (TV, radio, press, Internet) audience research performed to international standards, information on and analysis of media usage habits and advertising volumes.

TNS in Latvia together with TNS companies in Lithuania and Estonia form the largest market and social research centre in the Baltic States.
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