Lithuania: GDP grows at a slower, albeit healthy pace in Q3
According to a second national accounts estimate, GDP rose 4.8% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, softening from the 8.3% increase tallied in Q2 and matching the preliminary estimate. Meanwhile, in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms, growth flatlined in Q3 (Q2: +2.0% s.a. qoq).
The third quarter’s annual result was led by a broad-based slowdown, partly as the favorable base effect subsided. Private consumption (Q3: +6.3% yoy; Q2: +13.9% yoy), government spending (Q3: +0.8% yoy; Q2: +1.5% yoy) and fixed investment (Q3: +3.5% yoy; Q2: +22.4% yoy) all grew at softer, albeit still-healthy paces.
On the external front, although exports of goods and services also lost some momentum in Q3, they still registered double digit growth of 12.1% (Q2: +28.0% yoy). Similarly, import growth moderated to 16.0% annually in Q3, following a 35.1% surge in the previous quarter. Thus, the external sector subtracted 1.7 percentage points from the overall reading, easing from the prior quarter’s 3.0 percentage-point deduction
Looking ahead, GDP growth is expected to ease further in the final quarter of the year as the favorable base effect continues to subside and economic activity normalizes. A healthy inflow of EU funds should provide some support, although an ongoing surge in new Covid-19 cases, coupled with one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, threatens to inhibit the recovery.