2013-01-15 13:45:19 - Lithuania Business Forecast Report Q1 2013 - a new country guide report on companiesandmarkets.com
Falling borrowing costs and accelerating economic growth have permitted Lithuania´s government to assume a higher debt burden, without jeopardising the country´s eurozone ambitions. Although we believe that there is room for looser fiscal policy without undermining Lithuania´s chances of euro adoption, a more populist government could trigger a strong response from bond holders, which would require policymakers to choose between further EU convergence or populist policies.
Controversy surrounding an ongoing criminal investigation into key members of a majority coalition party means that the administration of Prime Minister-designate Algirdas Butkevicius will be under enormous pressure to acquire political credibility by honouring its anti-austerity mandate. Although we have long believed that Lithuania will continue to progress towards euro adoption, the risk of major
coalition instability and a rift with the president´s office threatens to force the government into a far more aggressive policy direction than under our current baseline scenario.
We have revised up our growth outlook for 2013 economic growth on account of improved financing conditions and signs of a tightening labour market. However, Lithuania´s construction sector remains a long way off from a meaningful recovery; coupled with a weak external climate, we maintain our view that the economy will be tepid over our forecast period.
Major Forecast Changes
We have raised our 2012 real GDP growth estimate from 2.3% to 3.3%. We have also revised up our 2013 growth outlook, with the country´s economy anticipated to expand by 2.1% over the year, up from our previous forecast of 1.4%.
We have revised down our 2012 fiscal deficit estimate from 4.7% of GDP to 4.4%, and see the fiscal shortfall narrowing further to 3.8% of GDP in 2013.
Key Risks To Outlook
We believe that tail risks to our constructive fiscal outlook (with the nominal deficit set to reach 2.8% of GDP in 2014) have increased due to a three-week long stand-off between the coalition parties and Lithuania´s president, Dalia Grybauskaite. Grybauskaite objected to the inclusion of the Labour Party into a governing coalition, and could still threaten to veto the inauguration of the government if Labour Party officials are seen to be obstructing the ongoing investigation.
Barring a major turn for the worse in Europe´s economic environment, particularly in the context of the lingering debt problems in Italy and Spain, we believe that the risks to our outlook are mostly weighted to the upside. Indeed, we have already been forced to raise our growth forecasts for 2012, as domestic demand proved more resilient than we had first assumed. Private consumption growth could pick up more rapidly in 2013 on the basis of looser fiscal policy and improved financial conditions. The unemployment rate continued to steadily decline in 2012, which could provide a further boost to the household sector.
Click for report details: www.companiesandmarkets.com/Market/All-Sectors/Country-Guide/Lit ..
Browse all All Sectors Country Guide Reports www.companiesandmarkets.com/Market/All-Sectors/Country-Guide?aCo ..
Browse all All Sectors Company Profile Reports www.companiesandmarkets.com/Market/All-Sectors/Company-Profile?a ..
Browse all Latest Country Guide Reports www.companiesandmarkets.com/Market/All/Country-Guide?aCode=f3fb3 ..
Companiesandmarkets.com is a leading online business information aggregator with over 300,000 market reports and company profiles available to our clients. Our extensive range of reports are sourced from the leading publishers of business information and provide clients with the widest range of information available. In terms of company profiles, Companiesandmarkets.comâs online database allows clients access to market and corporate information to over 100,000 different companies. We provide clients with a fully indexed database of information where clients can find specific market reports on their niche industry sectors of interest.