VILNIUS - Lithuania's gross domestic product soared by 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2004 year-on-year, the country's statistics department, citing preliminary data, announced last week.
Lithuania's gross domestic product reached 13.1 billion litas (3.81 billion euros) in the January-to-March period. A rise in added value was observed in nearly all economic segments, particularly in manufacturing and manufacturing service entities.
In the first quarter added value in manufacturing surged by 10.5 percent, in manufacturing service companies - by 8.2 percent compared with the January-to-March period of 2003.
Meanwhile, added value in other service entities climbed by a mere 2.9 percent in the reporting period.
Manufacturing and manufacturing service companies accounted for over 70 percent of total added value.
GDP per capita amounted to 3,818 litas in the first quarter of 2004, a 7.8 percent increase in comparative prices over the respective period of the previous year.
The country's GDP surged by 9 percent in 2003, a record growth rate among all EU member states and candidate countries, and a record since the country regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.
The Finance Ministry said it had forecast that the nation's economy would grow by 7 percent in 2004. Both Vilniaus Bankas, the country's biggest commercial bank, and Nord/LB Lietuva, the third largest bank, forecast that the economy would expand by 6.8 percent this year.
The International Monetary Fund is predicting that Lithuania's economy would expand by 6.7 percent this year and 6.3 percent in 2005.