Flash comment: Lithuania - October 26, 2018
Nowcast points to faster GDP growth in Q3

The official GDP estimates come out with a substantial lag, but it is possible to determine the current level of economic activity using other indicators. Swedbank economists have developed a tool that allows to predict the current and near future states of the Lithuanian economy before the actual GDP data is released. The now-cast model is run on a large (185 series) and heterogeneous set of predictors, including both “hard” and “soft” data for Lithuania and its main trading partners.

Nowcast: growth picked up in Q3

The now-cast estimates suggest that growth in real GDP (seasonally and calendar adjusted) picked up from 3.8% in the second quarter to 4.1% in the third. A pickup in growth in household consumption was most likely the main reason behind somewhat faster GDP growth. Boosted by rapid wage growth, rising credit and continued improvement in the labour market, the annual growth in retail trade accelerated to 7.4% in the third quarter. Investments most likely sustained the growth momentum supported by intensifying shortage of labour, high capacity utilization rates, supportive financial conditions and continued distribution of EU funds.

Increased exports could have also boosted the growth numbers. Nominal growth in exports of goods without petroleum products picked up again in the first two months of the third quarter. However, September export data could still surprise on the downside as annual contraction in manufacturing was recorded that month – something not witnessed since 2016. Overall, real growth in industrial production decelerated to 2.7% in the third quarter. The official GDP flash estimate will be published on 30th October.

For more information about this report, please contact:

Laura Galdikienė, +370 5 258 2275, laura.galdikiene@swedbank.lt,    

Vytenis Šimkus, +370 687 17870, vytenis.simkus@swedbank.lt.

Regarding technical questions about the model, please contact:

Jana Eklund, +46 8 5859 4604, jana.eklund@swedbank.se.

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