VILNIUS - Lithuania's exports grew by 16.8 percent in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period in 2003, while imports rose by 15.9 percent, the country's statistics department announced last week.
Exports totaled 13.6 billion litas (3.9 billion euros), whereas imports reached 18.7 billion litas in the seven-month period.
The country's foreign trade deficit expanded by 13.7 percent year-on-year to 5 billion litas.
"The rise in the foreign trade deficit in July following two months of decline will have a negative impact on the current account deficit. But we cannot draw any serious conclusion from a single month's result, however," said Vadim Titarenko, adviser to the president of Nord/LB Lietuva, the country's third-biggest commercial bank by assets.
"The good news is that exports are growing faster than imports. This positive trend is likely to continue toward the end of this year and early next year," he said.