Lithuanian FinMin forecasts lower GDP growth in 2015

December 31, 2014 10:27 am 

VILNIUS, Dec. 31 — Lithuania's finance minister Rimantas Sadzius said on Tuesday foresaw Lithuanian economy to grow at 2.7-2.9 percent next year, 0.5-0.7 percentage points lower than official projections announced by the Finance Ministry in September.

"There's a probability that actual growth this year will be a bit better, at least this is suggested by decent data of budget revenue," said Sadzius in an annual press conference.

"In 2015, I think, it would be not bad, if we achieve 2.7-2.9 percent economy growth," he added.

Official projections announced by the Ministry of Finance in September suggested Lithuanian economy to grow at a rate of 3.4 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2014.

The European Commission in its winter forecast expects Lithuanian economy to grow by 3.5 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015.

Sadzius pointed out weakening Russian ruble and market, the euro membership and pessimism among Lithuanian business companies as three key challenges which Lithuanian economy will face next year.

"Lithuania's economy has already reacted to changes in trade with the East," said Sadzius.

According to Sadzius, the exports are adding up to Lithuania's economy growth and will continue to do so if Lithuanian business takes advantages of the euro adoption.

"The main task for our business next year is not to be fooled by currency exchange and to take advantages of decreasing interest rates and cheaper borrowing," said the minister.

Sadzius was concerned about the pessimism from Lithuanian companies which might lead to subdued capital investment.

"The main problem of Lithuanian economy is that manufacturing capacity has exceeded pre-crisis levels, and manufacturing now runs at its maximum capacity," said Sadzius.

"Investments are needed to increase the capacity and the willingness to take risks as well. If we could overcome this pessimism everything would get better," said the minister. (PNA/Xinhua)

LGI/JSD

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