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Consumer confidence hits seven year low

  • 2008-11-27
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS
VILNIUS 's Lithuania'sconsumer confidence index has plummeted six more points to reach a seven yearlow, the national statistics agency said.

The index reached -41 points, down from October's level of -35. This islowest level recorded since the index began in May 2001, it said.

"People assess the present situation adequately. They started torealize that their expenses on electricity and natural gas are set toincrease," Vilija Tauraite, chief analyst at SEB Bankas, told the BalticNews Service.

People also take into consideration an anticipated hike in the value addedtax and other measures set out in an anti-crisis plans that is being drawn upby the incoming center-right coalition government, she said.

The consumer confidence index measures the degree of optimism on the stateof the economy that consumers are expressing through their activities ofsavings and spending.

The analyst said that the consumer confidence index could fall further.

"I don't think this is the bottom," she said, noting that peopleare following economic news more closely than they did in 2001 and are quitewell aware of the current economic problems.

The Statistics Department said that the decline in November was due toexpectations of rising unemployment and growing pessimism among the populationabout the country's economic prospects and their household finances.

Year-on-year, November's consumer confidence index plunged by 33 percentagepoints.