Lithuania Country Risk Report Q3 2016 - New Market Research Report

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu May 12 2016

Lithuania will enjoy accelerating real GDP growth in 2016 and 2017, as real wage growth boosts consumption, and a stronger regional outlook improves foreign trade. Alongside an extension loose monetary policy and quantitative easing, this will encourage a recovery in investment.

Lithuania's budget deficit will increase in 2016 as expenditure growth outstrips revenue collection for the second year running. This deficit will nonetheless remain sustainable thanks to a general adherence to fiscal prudence and a low public debt burden.

Lithuania will record small but manageable current account deficits in 2016 and 2017 as a higher rate of investment requires an increase in imports from abroad. The gradual easing of EU sanctions against Russia will see both imports and exports rise over our short-term outlook. The deficit will remain sustainable as the economy remains an attractive prospect for foreign investors.

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Despite the waning popularity of Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (SDP) enters an election year in a strong position, leading in the latest opinion polls. We expect an SDP victory in the 2016 parliamentary elections, although the party will be forced to form a coalition after failing to reach a majority on their own.

Key Risks

An escalation of tensions with neighbouring Russia could weigh on investor sentiment, which could potentially have disastrous consequences for Lithuania's economy given the significant volume of foreign claims on capital.

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