Critics also point out that an exodus of many young Latvians to find work abroad has flattered the unemployment figure.
Between 2008 and last year the total population is estimated to have fallen by about 8.5 per cent.
Latvia’s accession has shown that one of Europe’s most dynamic economies still regards the eurozone as a club worth joining.
Recently a colleague returned from a trip to Latvia and remarked on how beautiful the women were.
Attention intensified when the medicine seemed to work.
However, earlier this week the Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, insisted that, despite the eurozone’s turmoil of recent years, accession to the currency union was unequivocally the right economic course for Latvia.
That warning was very much in keeping with the country’s austere economic policy of recent years.
Latvia suffered the most extreme economic bust of any country in the world during the global financial crisis of five years ago.
The IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says he has been pleasantly surprised by Latvia’s performance, but maintains that he is not convinced the government’s front-loaded fiscal squeeze was either necessary or helpful to the economy.
Nevertheless, it is striking that Latvia’s growth rate in 2014 is forecast to be four times higher than of the rest of the eurozone which it joins this week.