Lithuania: GDP growth accelerates moderately in Q4
According to a second national accounts estimate, GDP growth sped up to 5.0% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, from 4.8% in the third quarter. Consequently, GDP growth for 2021 as a whole logged a 4.9% expansion, sharply contrasting 2020’s 0.1% pandemic-driven contraction and marking the highest figure since 2011. Lastly, on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth improved to 1.1% in Q4, compared to the previous quarter’s 0.7% increase.
Taking a look at the release, private consumption increased 8.4% in the fourth quarter, which was above the third quarter’s 6.3% expansion. Public consumption edged up to a 0.8% increase in Q4 (Q3: +0.5% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment contracted 0.8% in Q4, marking the worst result since Q3 2020 (Q3: +3.5% yoy).
On the external front, exports of goods and services increased 12.7% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter, which was above the third quarter’s 12.5% expansion. Conversely, imports of goods and services growth slowed to 14.4% in Q4 (Q3: +17.7% yoy). Thus, the external sector subtracted 0.2 percentage points from the overall reading in Q4, easing from the prior quarter’s 2.6 percentage point deduction.
Commenting on the regional outlook for the Baltics this year, Malgorzata Kryzwicka, analyst at Erste Group, remarked:
“Following a strong post-crisis recovery in 2021, growth dynamics will ease this year. In light of recent developments in Ukraine, the risks to the growth outlook are clearly tilted to the downside. The key risk factors are high energy prices, possible disruptions in deliveries of gas and oil, suspension of trade with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as well as general deterioration in the business environment due to elevated risk.”