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Lithuania’s first-quarter GDP performance inspires optimism about future

Tomo Urbelionio/BFL nuotr. / SEB Bankas expects Lithuania’s economy to grow by 2 percent this year.
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania’s economic growth of 3.9 percent in the first quarter of this year exceeded expectations and showed that key domestic economic sectors are stable, analysts have said.

“Although economic growth continues to decelerate (from the annual 4.3 percent in Q4 2011), we are positive about the growth in the first quarter, since Lithuania’s economy shows resilience to the virus of economic stagnation spreading in the world,” Rokas Bancevičius, senior analyst with DNB bank, said in a commentary.

Lithuania’s economic growth this year will mostly depend on exports, he said. Lithuania’s exports rose by annual 13 percent in January and by 10.4 percent in February.

“Exports helped sustain growth in the first quarter as internal demand is still too weak to start pulling the economy,” Bancevičius said.

Analysts of SEB Bankas, Lithuania’s largest commercial bank, said in a commentary that Lithuania’s businesses had boosted exports both to the West and to the East. Moreover, exports to the European Union grew faster than exports to the CIS countries in the beginning of this year.

“Despite a contraction in demand in many euro zone countries, except Germany, exports of Lithuanian origin are still competitive in terms of costs and prices,” the analysts said.

Retail turnover, a ‘test-paper’ of situation on domestic market, was above satisfactory, the bank’s analysts said adding that the collection of national budget revenues reflected improvements in the companies’ situation as well. However, the performance of certain transport segments worsened from 2011.

“Yet, the general curve of Lithuania’s economic development inspires optimism and it should not be unsettled by business news from the US and the EU, which have been rather contradictory of lately,” the analysts said.

SEB Bankas expects Lithuania’s economy to grow by 2 percent this year and by further 3 percent in 2013. DNB Bankas sees the country’s economy widening by 3 percent this year.

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