With exports continuing to grow fast, Lithuania’s gross domestic product (GDP) may increase by 3 percent this year, he said. DNB last week revised the forecast of Lithuania’s 2012 GDP growth up by 0.5 percentage points, to 3 percent.
“Our exports shall grow by 6 percent if Lithuania wants to achieve a 3 percent increase in GDP this year. In January 2012, compared with the same period last year, the exports rose by 13 percent. We know now that in February the growth reached 10.4 percent. Hence Lithuania’s exporters may still achieve a 6 percent year-on-year growth rate this year,” Bancevičius said in comments issued by the bank.
The slowdown in the eurozone will pose the biggest challenge, he says. However, Russia’s economy, which accounts for about one-tenth of Lithuania’s exports, is growing fast.
“Russia’s economy should expand by approximately 4.5 percent this year due to high prices of crude and swollen budget spending during the electoral campaign of Vladimir Putin. However, further outlook for our neighbors is not that good – Russia’s economy still risks overheating and a sudden drop in crude prices would be particularly painful for the country,” the analyst said.
Lithuania’s exports rose by 11.9 percent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, to 11.322 billion litas (EUR 3.28 b), and its imports went up by 14.1 percent, to 13.132 billion litas. In February, compared with January, exports rose by 1.3 percent, to 5.698 billion litas, and imports increased by 4.9 percent, to 6.723 billion litas.