Chairman of the Board of Lietuvos Bankas - Vitas Vasiliauskas - presented his views at the Czech Embassy
08.06.2012 / 10:06
On May 31st European Business Network at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Lithuania held a networking event where Vitas Vasiliauskas presented his perspective on recent economic developments and outlook for Lithuania.
In the first part of his presentation V. Vasiliauskas overviewed the main indicators of Lithuanian economy. The spokesman for Lietuvos bankas stated that the real gross domestic product growth of 3.9% in the first quarter of 2012 exceeded their expectations and this recovery was made possible mostly because of domestic factors: stronger private consumption, higher household confidence and improved conditions in labor market. In addition, robust economic developments are projected for years 2012 and 2013, even though, the foreign investments have decelerated.
According to V. Vasiliauskas, Lithuanian export growth has stabilized, it is balanced across major manufacturing activities and it is expected to continue its growth, but at a slower pace. The labor market situation is also improving; in 2011 there was a steady decrease of unemployment, especially in the first half of the year. The situation in the labor market should continue to improve in 2012 and 2013, however – more gradually. “It should not have a big impact on inflation, in Lithuania inflation is mainly driven by increasing energy and food prices and not decreasing unemployment” – explained V. Vasiliauskas.
Moreover, in the second half of 2011, annual inflation decreased. In 2012 and 2013 average annual inflation is expected to be lower than in 2011 (estimates are 2.9% and 2.7% respectively). Overall, the spokesman for Lietuvos bankas said that he is not totally comfortable with the forecasts yet, but is still optimistic.
The second part of presentation focused on the Euro convergence criteria. When speaking about the introduction of Euro to Lithuania V. Vasiliauskas expressed his personal view: “ I don’t beat on a date, and I believe that Euro is not a supreme goal in itself”. According to him, the goal is meeting the Maastricht criteria, then we will be able to choose – to introduce the Euro or not.