Lithuania's GDP expanded by 3.6 percent in 2018, to slow down this year

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-30 22:07:15|Editor: ZX
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VILNIUS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's economy expanded by 3.6 percent last year, compared to 2017, slightly faster than expected, the country's statistics office announced on Wednesday.

Statistics Lithuania reported that in 2018, the country's gross domestic product (GDP), estimated based on available statistical data and econometric models, amounted to 45.2 billion euros at current prices.

"Lithuania's economy grew more rapidly at the end of 2018 due to diminished adverse effects of the agricultural sector, while activity of other main sectors of economy, such as manufacturing, construction, trade and transportation did not change significantly," Darius Imbrasas, senior economist at Lithuania's central bank Macroeconomics and forecast department, was quoted in a commentary released by the Bank of Lithuania.

Strong domestic demand, fueled both by consumption and investments, was one of the main drivers for economic growth, Imbrasas said.

Lithuania's analysts forecast that the economy will further advance this year, nevertheless they also point to a few risk factors.

"The growth will be slowed down by weaker external demand. Uncertainty about Brexit, international trade constraints and slower than current growth of the main Lithuania's trade partners are among the main risk factors as regards economy growth this year," Imbrasas said.

The Bank of Lithuania expects the country's GDP to rise by 2.8 percent in 2019.

Other economists point to recent weaker euro zone's growth indicators.

"Lithuania is not any safe heaven in Europe, therefore slower euro zone's growth will have negative impact on our economy," Tadas Povilauskas, economist at SEB bank in Lithuania, said in his commentary emailed to the local media.

SEB bank expects Lithuania's economy to expand by 2.9 percent this year.

Lithuania's Ministry of Finance forecasts 2.8 percent GDP growth in 2019.