Lithuania’s economy has emerged better than expected from the coronavirus outbreak, official data showed on Thursday, July 30, putting it on track to outperform most of its eurozone peers.
A seasonally adjusted estimate from the national statistics agency showed gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 5.1% in the 2nd quarter compared with the previous 3 months.
The figures beat forecasts and stood in sharp contrast with European Union heavyweight Germany where the economy shrank by 10.1% quarter-on-quarter from April to June.
“The number is a pleasant surprise,” central bank chief Vitas Vasiliauskas told reporters.
The central bank and the finance minister had previously warned of a double-digit decline.
Zygimantas Mauricas, chief economist at Luminor bank in Vilnius, said success in containing the coronavirus outbreak and a relatively small dependence on tourism were among the factors that helped the Baltic nation.
“Lithuania will be among those who suffer least from the coronavirus in the EU. I do not rule out a positive full-year result,” he told Agence France-Presse.
Nerijus Maciulis, chief economist at Swedbank in Lithuania, said improving consumer and business sentiment indicate that a rapid recovery would continue.
He said a full-year contraction is still likely but that decline may be the smallest among all EU member states.
By Thursday, Lithuania, a 2015 eurozone entrant of 2.8 million people, had reported 2,062 coronavirus cases and 80 deaths. – Rappler.com