VILNIUS -Lithuania's industrial output contracted 25.5 percent year-on-year in April, fas Industrial output plummets in April
ter than the 17.9 percent drop in March, Statistics Lithuania reported.
After adjusting for Labor Day effects, output fell 24.5 percent.
During the month, mining and quarrying output plunged 43.7 percent on an annual basis, while manufacturing output was down 26.4 percent. Production of utilities declined 16.2 percent.
The statistics are the latest in a long line indicating a massive decline in demand internally and abroad.
Tomas Andrejauskas, board member of Swedbank, said he expects that the demand abroad is driving the drop in the sector adding that a new agricultural cycle at the end of the year could see a rise in industrial orders.
"Fertilizer is picking up and agricultural products are going up, so when they enter another upward cycle, we will see improvement. Fertilizer is one industry, but it is big for Lithuania. I would think we will see improvement sometime at the end of this year," Andrejauskas said, adding the drop in production was expected.
"It's quite a big drop, but on the other hand we could expect that 's first quarter GDP dropped and industrial output was already in dangerous territory. When consumption goes up in external markets we can expect to see industrial production to go up immediately," he said.
Month-on-month, industrial output slipped 4.4 percent in April, reversing the 0.8 percent rise in the previous month. After adjusting for seasonal effects, industrial output declined 1 percent.
During the January-April period, industrial output decreased 16.9 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, and after adjusting for working day effects, fell 16.2 percent.
The drop comes amid skyrocketing unemployment that continues to grow each week.
In the week ending May 22 some 6,000 people registered with the Labor Exchange (LE), the social security office tasked with finding jobs for the unemployed.
Press spokesperson Birute Balyniene said that there were currently over 191,000 people registered with the LE looking for work.
Most of them come from the manufacturing sector.
"People in low skills jobs are unemployed. All owners are looking for better specialists because it is cheaper to work with good employees and be more productive 's they are from factories in the cities of Lithuania. Mostly Vilnius," she said.
Last week, 1,300 job places were registered at the LE with 1,500 people getting new jobs.
According to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, unemployment in March in Lithuania stood at 15.5 percent.
However, the LE reported that in May only 8.7 percent of Lithuanians were jobless.
The LE only reports people who are registered with them as being unemployed and does not include those working on temporary contracts or in the grey market.