"In 2012 we see a much smaller increase in exports in shares of GDP. In 2013 we don't expect much improvement at all. I think these [Baltic] countries being small economies have to be strong exporters. The economies have to be export-oriented. This export growth rate has now fallen...," the Fund's representative Mark Allen said at the Baltic Investors Forum in Vilnius on Thursday.
The IMF forecasts that Lithuania's economic growth will slow down to 2.7 percent this year before accelerating somewhat, to 3 percent, next year. It expects the country's unemployment rate to go down to 13.5 percent this year, from 15.4 percent last year, and ease further to 12.5 percent in 2013.
The Fund predicts that Estonia and Latvia this year will post GDP growth rates of 2.4 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. The economies should expand by 3.5 percent each next year.