Lithuanian GDP grew an adjusted 2.4% y/y in the first quarter of 2016, according to a flash estimate released by Statistics Lithuania on April 29.
The reading marks acceleration on the 1.9% growth seen in the final quarter of 2015, and keeps the country's economy on the rising trajectory it has been following since the start of last year. Analysts say they are optimistic the trend will remain on course for the rest of the year.
In quarterly terms, GDP grew an adjusted 0.8%, faster than 0.5% in the fourth quarter of last year. In unadjusted terms, GDP grew 2.2% on the year, but fell 9.1% in quarterly terms
The annual growth in January-March was mainly driven by household consumption. "Retail trade increased by 7.2% in the first quarter this year. However, export growth rebounded somewhat as well,” Swedbank notes.
While analysts did not single out investment as an important driver of growth in the first three months of the year, which was the case last year, they are confident that investment, alongside consumption, will push growth throughout 2016.
“Strong household consumption and investment will remain the main drivers, however, prospects for exports improved as well," they claim at Swedbank. "Some normalisation of exports with Russia is expected, but there is more potential for growth in strengthening markets in the EU. We forecast GDP to rise by 3.3% this year and 3.0% in 2017."