“Further development will largely depend on external factors,” Vilija Lapėnienė, director general of Statistics Lithuania, said at a press conference on Monday.
Last year, domestic economy grew faster than in any other period over the last three years, she said.
“In 2011, prices of consumer goods rose by 4 percent and those of services by 1.5 percent. Last year was particularly successful for the industrial sector – the output grew by 7.4 percent. The growth of Lithuania’s exports in 2011 was one of the fastest across the European Union. Speaking of domestic trade companies, the year 2011 was the best over the last three years as well and an increase in turnover indicates a recovery of domestic market. Last year was also good for the construction sector. However, its output in 2011 amounted to only 56 percent of that in 2008. There was also positive increase in the transport sector. Speaking of accommodation industry, the year was quite successful too, tourism generated larger revenues,” Lapėnienė said.
As one of the most pressing problems she particularly stressed population decline.
Last year, Lithuania’s population shrank by 45,300, or 1.4 percent, to 3.199 million people.
“The decline in population is almost equal to the total population of Marijampolė, which now has 44,900 residents. Both birthrate and death-rate went down last year,” Lapėnienė said.
In 2011, birthrate declined by 3.4 percent, to 34,400 infants, and death rate went down by 2.6 percent, to 41,000. Emigration slowed down by 34.87 percent, to 54,300, while immigration increased threefold, to 15,700, including 14,000 Lithuanian citizens who returned home.