VILNIUS - Following a tough month in April, Lithuanian economic trends were positive in May, despite a rather gloomy mood in the services sector, Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said on Tuesday.
"April, which was inevitably affected by the pandemic, was especially difficult for the Lithuanian economy," Sapoka told a news conference. "In May, however, we saw signs of recovery, despite the high uncertainty and future risks."
"Of course, the figures are not something to be happy about yet, but the trend is positive," he added.
According to the minister, the labor market is showing some positive signs: the unemployment rate has stabilized since late April and more vacancies have been registered.
Lithuania's overall economic sentiment indicator that reflects business and consumer expectations improved by 2 percentage points in May from April, and the industrial confidence indicator rise by 7 points, Sapoka noted.
Sentiment in the services sector, however, remains grim, the minister said.
"The (services confidence) indicator fell by another 5 percentage points in May compared with April," he said.
The Finance Ministry forecasts that Lithuania's GDP may contract by 2.8-7.3 percent this year, depending on how well the country manages the coronavirus crisis. According to Sapoka, the ministry plans to update its forecast in late June.