Nerijus Mačiulis, a Swedbank analyst, said that higher heating bills apparently did not stop people from higher spending during January sales, but such rapid growth is unlikely to continue, because the purchasing power of the population will not grow so fast this year.
"There are simply no financial resources for that. The real purchasing power (in 2012) will rise by 3-4 percent. In February, people have probably cut spending a bit after having received their heating bills, and consumption will better reflect their real income," he told BNS.
Mindaugas Jurgelis, a DNB Bankas analyst, also said that retail sales continue to show "signs of growth", but added that this trend should change soon.
"The winds of economic uncertainty blowing from Western Europe cause pessimism among economic participants. The household economic confidence indicator in January was lower than in the second half of last year. The country's manufacturers have no plans to increase their production output in the near term, which means both a slower decline in unemployment and a slower growth in wages," he said.
Lithuania's retail sales, excluding car and motorcycle sales, rose by 16.4 percent last month compared with a year ago to 1.987 billion litas (EUR 576 mln), Statistics Lithuania said on Wednesday.
Retail sales dropped by 20.1 percent in January versus December. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, retail sales were up by a monthly 2.7 percent, the statistics office said.