Baltics' current account deficits differ

  • 2003-12-04
  • Baltic Business News
RIGA - Despite the Baltics' upcoming accession to the European Union, major differences in the countries' trading patterns remain, wrote the Institute of Economies in Transition last week.

Estonia's current account deficit in the third quarter was 14 percent of GDP. Over the first nine months of the year it was 16 percent of forecast gross domestic product.
Foreign direct investment inflows to Estonia were clearly higher than a year ago and in net terms were sufficient to cover 55 percent of the current account deficit in January-September. The remainder was financed mainly through banks borrowing from abroad.
Preliminary figures indicate that Latvia's current account deficit in the third quarter was about 10 percent of GDP. For the January-September period it was 9 percent of GDP.
Latvia's trade deficit has increased from last year as growth in imports has outpaced export growth. However, growth of the current account deficit was slowed by growth of services and increased current transfers to Latvia.
Inflows of foreign direct investment to Latvia have been down this year compared with last. They were sufficient to cover almost 40 percent of the current account deficit in January-September, with the remainder financed by banks borrowing from abroad.
Lithuania's current account deficit in the third quarter was 3 percent and in January-September 5 percent of GDP, according to preliminary figures. The trade deficit shrank over the first nine months compared with the same period a year earlier, when import growth remained slow. The service surplus has shrunk slightly.
Foreign direct investments in Lithuania have been down from a year earlier and were sufficient to cover less than 60 percent of the current account. The rest of the deficit was covered mainly through the issue of government debt.