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Economy in Brief

Good Growth In The BALTICS
by Louise Curley  August 29, 2011

The Statistical Office of Lithuania today raised its estimate of the year to year growth in second quarter GDP to 6.3% from the 6.1% released on July 28. The three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, were among the hardest hit countries in the recent recession. In the second quarter of 2009, GDP in Lithuania was 15.9% below the year ago figure and GDP in Estonia was 16.6% below its year ago figure. In the third quarter of 2009, GDP in Latvia was 19.6% below its year ago figure. The severity of the recession can be seen in the first chart, showing the year to year growth rates of GDP in the three countries over the past five years. The growth rates for Lithuania and Estonia are "Flash Estimates" while that for Latvia is based on the reported national accounts.

The recovery has been stronger in Lithuania and Estonia than in Latvia, but even there it has been among the better performers in the European Union. The growth in the domestic and foreign& components of demand are shown for each country in the second third and fourth charts. Detailed data for Latvia's and Estonia's second quarters are not yet available.

Through the first quarter the main source of demand in Latvia has been domestically generated. Imports of goods and services have generally exceeded exports. In the first quarter domestic demand increased 7.0% , exports were up 14.8% and imports increased 20.7%.

In Lithuania, although the increase in domestic demand has declined in the two quarters of this year it was still increasing at an 8.1% rate in the second quarter. Lithuania generally has a negative balance on trade in goods and services, however, the second quarter, exports were up 16.2% and imports 14.5%.

Estonia's first quarter was especially strong, with GDP up 8.5% from the first quarter of last year. The principal source of strength was domestic demand which increased 12.7% from the first quarter of 2010.

Data for the Baltic countries are found in EMERGECW.

Q2-11 Q1-11 Q4-10 Q3-10 Q2-10 Q1-10 2009 Low Qtr
Real GDP (NSA Y/Y % Change)
Lithuania(Flash) 6.3 6.9 4.8 1.2 1.0 -2.0 -15.9 2nd
Latvia 5.4 3.9 3.8 2.2 -2.5 -5.5 -19.1 3rd
Estonia(Flash) 8.4 8.0 6.6 4.7 3.5 -2.3 -16.6 2nd
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