VILNIUS - The international rating agency Standard & Poor's has predicted that Lithuania's economic growth would be among the highest in the European Union this year and would continue its upward trend in the coming years.
In it's latest overview of Lithuania, Standard & Poor's forecast that growth in the country's GDP would reach 7 percent in 2004, underpinned by rising exports, production and domestic consumption. GDP growth in 2005 is forecast to slow somewhat, to 6.6 percent, and then 5.8 percent in 2007 and 5.2 percent in 2008.
Lithuania's economy expanded by 9 percent last year, the highest growth rate among all EU member states.
The Finance Ministry earlier announced that it also expected economic growth to reach 7 percent this year.