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Published: 8 august 2013 12:21

Lithuania's chances of adopting euro over 90 percent, Swedbank analyst believes

BFL nuotr. / litaseurasBFL

A 0.7-percent negative monthly inflation rate recorded in Lithuania in July shows that the country will most probably meet Maastricht criteria and qualify for euro entry in 2015, Nerijus Mačiulis, the chief analyst at Swedbank, says.

"Recent trends for both the consumer price index and the producer price index, which signals what consumer prices might be in the next six months, show to us that the probability of Lithuania complying with the Maastricht criterion in early 2014 is very high, probably above 90 percent. We think that average annual inflation at the end of this year will be around 1.5 percent and that it will only slightly rise at the start of next year," he told BNS.

The analyst attributed the decline in consumer prices in July to falling oil and food product prices in global markets.

"We did expect a decline in prices in July, but not so fast. The key reasons behind the fall in prices remained unchanged: very favorable trends in the commodities market, lower oil prices and, most importantly, falling prices for most oil products in international markets. At the same time, we saw another favorable trend for Lithuania, i.e. the strengthening of the euro against other global currencies, which made Lithuanian imports cheaper, or at least not more expensive," he said.

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