Lithuanian GDP surges
VILNIUS - Gross domestic product in Lithuania grew 7.3 percent to 70.7 billion litas (20.5 billion euros) last year, the Statistics Department reported. According to preliminary data, in the fourth quarter the economy expanded by 8.2 percent year-on-year to 19.3 billion litas.
GDP per capita in the full-year 2005 was 20,659 litas, up 7.6 percent compared with 2004. In the last quarter alone it was 5,640 litas, a rise of 8.6 percent year-on-year.
In 2004 GDP growth was 7 percent. All key sectors of the economy, with the exception of mining and quarrying, contributed to GDP growth last year, the Statistics Department said. Value-added growth in the following sectors exceeded the average growth rate: transport and communications; construction; wholesale and retail trade; manufacturing; and hotels and restaurants. Value-added in these sectors rose by 9.7 percent last year, while growth in remaining activities was just 3.8 percent. The department said that growth in consumption-related sectors was stronger than that in production sectors because of an increase in personal incomes and borrowing.
Data on annual economic expansion in Estonia and Latvia have not been released yet, though it is expected to be higher than 9 percent in both countries.