Lithuania’s GDP growth accelerates to 3.9 percent in 2017: statistics

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Lithuania’s GDP growth exceeded forecasts and grew by 3.9 percent in 2017, the fastest since 2011, Lithuanian Statistics announced on Tuesday.

In 2016, Lithuania’s economy advanced by 2.2 percent.

The country’s ministry of finance and central bank forecasted earlier that Lithuania’s economy would grow by 3.6 percent in 2017.

According to the statistics, in the fourth quarter last year Lithuanian GDP grew by 3.6 percent on annual basis and by 1.5 percent compared to the previous quarter.

“It is obvious that positive GDP growth rate has been maintained in the recent years, unemployment decreased, real wages have been rising,” Vilija Lapeniene, director of Statistics Lithuania, told reporters at a press conference.

In the words of Lapeniene, GDP growth accelerated mostly due to rapid growth of services sector and added value within industry, as well as increased exports and exclusively high economical activity in the first half of 2017.

In nominal terms, Lithuania’s economy amounted to 41.8 billion euros (51.9 billion U.S. dollars)at the end of the last year.

Statistical data shows that inflation in Lithuania accelerated to 3.9 percent, the highest rate in the EU where inflation amounted to 1.7 percent in 2017. Consumer prices growth accelerated particularly due to increase of food and non-alcoholic beverages, services prices, Statistics Lithuania said.

Darius Imbrasas, chief economist at Lithuanian central bank’s macroeconomics and forecasts department, noted that favorable international environment was among the main factors behind robust economy growth in 2017.

“This year the pace of growth will cool down due to decreasing number of people active in the labor market, slower wage growth and therefore lower consumption, as well as slower external demand,” Imbrasas was quoted as saying in a separate statement published by the central bank.

Lithuania’s central bank expects the country’s economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2018.

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