Lithuania: Economy picks up in fourth quarter
January 28, 2011
According to the flash estimate released on 28 January by the National Statistics Office, GDP rose 4.6% in the fourth quarter over the same period the year before. The reading was well above the 1.2% increase recorded in the previous quarter and represented the third consecutive expansion after six quarters of contraction. In addition, the reading exceeded analyst expectations, which saw the economy growing 3.0% in the fourth quarter. A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the improvement seen in the annual figures, as GDP rose 1.7% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter, when the economy expanded 0.3%. For the full year 2010, the economy expanded 1.3%, marking a first - albeit timid - step toward recovery, following the devastating 14.7% contraction recorded in 2009. The result came in above Central Bank's expectation of 0.3% growth for 2010. Full details of the national accounts data will not be published until 28 February. However, additional data show that the country's industrial sector was a strong growth driver in the fourth quarter. Based on monthly industrial production data, the industrial sector expanded 16.5% annually in the fourth quarter, which more than doubled the 7.8% year-on-year increase recorded in the third quarter and marked the strongest result since the second quarter of 2004. The Central Bank sees the economy growing 3.1% this year.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions