Lithuania in surplus territory

  • 2003-03-06

Lithuania's consolidated central budget showed a surplus of 94.2 million litas (27.3 million euros) in January, while total state debt decreased by 280 million litas over the month, the Finance Ministry announced Feb. 28.

According to the ministry, consolidated budget revenues and subsidies came to 1.14 billion litas, while expenditures and loans reached 1.04 billion litas.

This contrasts to January 2002, when the country's consolidated central budget ran a deficit of 82.4 million litas.

The central consolidated budget comprises the central government's budget, the State Social Insurance Fund and Compulsory Health Insurance Fund, as well as several off-budget funds (the Privatization Fund, Savings Restitution Account, Guarantee Fund, Reserve Fund, Ignalina Nuclear Power Station Decommissioning Fund, and the 1990 Blockade Fund).

In 2002, Lithuania's fiscal deficit reached 590.8 million litas and constituted 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product in 2002.

According to preliminary data, the annual consolidated budget revenues and subsidies amounted to 14.2 billion litas, while expenditures and loans reached 14.8 billion litas last year.

This year's fiscal deficit is estimated to amount to 802.8 million litas, up by 35.9 percent over the figure in 2001, and to account for 1.5 percent of GDP. Consolidated budget revenues and expenditures are estimated to come to 15.4 billion litas and 16.2 billion litas, respectively.

The Finance Ministry also announced that state debt decreased over January, reaching 12.8 billion litas (3.7 billion euros) at the end of the month. Foreign debt shrank by 318.8 million litas to 8.8 billion litas.

The total state debt accounted for 24 percent of Lithuania's projected GDP for 2003, some six percentage points below the established state debt and borrowing limits, said the ministry. "Even though the state debt limit is 30 percent of the country's GDP, the Finance Ministry is pursuing a tough public debt management policy," said Asta Ungulaitiene, secretary of the Finance Ministry.

As of late January, Lithuania's total debt to the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank and other international organizations reached 1.7 billion litas. It also owed 504.5 million litas to foreign government bodies, 216.9 million litas to the International Monetary Fund, and 6.4 billion litas to commercial banks and financial institutions.