Latest domestic industry figures showed that the industrial sector was affected by Europe’s concerns, Mindaugas Jurgelis said, adding that the growth of Lithuania’s industry was decelerating throughout 2011 and should continue slowing down despite unexpected increase in December and January.
“The data for February show that the revival was probably temporary and the growth of domestic industry should slow down for some more time. The year-on-year workday-adjusted growth rate last month went down to 4.8 percent, from 8.4 percent in January. Hence the slowdown is clear,” Jurgelis said.
He noted that the performance was mostly affected by complicated situation of the European Union’s (EU) economy. Although the EU industrial output edged up somewhat in January after four months of decline, the new orders data and the latest industry surveys showed that the output declined again in February.
“Hence it seems that it is still premature to speak about the recovery of EU economy. The European Central Bank stated last week that a modest growth of EU economy was only expected in the second half of this year. The EU accounts for more than 70 percent of our manufacturers’ exports, hence stagnant European economy will continue to drag Lithuania’s manufacturing sector down for some more time,” the economist projected.
The polls conducted by the Lithuanian Industrialists’ Confederation showed similar trends, Jurgelis said. The Industry Expectations Index went down to 53 points in the first quarter of this year. Although the index continued to signal expectations of the sector’s growth, the expectations had deteriorated, the analyst added.
Lithuania ’s industrial output and sales rose by 3.1 percent in the first two months of this year compared with a year ago, to 11.704 billion litas (EUR 3.39 b).
The workday adjusted growth rate was zero percent, Statistics Lithuania reported earlier on Wednesday.
In February alone, the country’s industrial output and sales shrank by 0.9 percent versus January, to 5.834 billion litas. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the output and sales contracted by 3.1 percent, the statistics office said.