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Lithuanian GDP Grew Faster Than Estimated in Fourth Quarter

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania’s economy expanded at a faster rate than previously estimated in the fourth quarter on stronger growth in the construction industry.

Gross domestic product rose 4.4 percent from a year earlier, up from a 4.3 percent preliminary estimate released Jan. 30, the statistics office in the capital, Vilnius, said today by e-mail. It grew a seasonally adjusted 1 percent from the previous quarter, compared with an initial estimate of a 0.9 percent contraction. GDP advanced 5.9 percent in 2011.

Growth is slowing after reaching the second-fastest pace in the European Union in the third quarter as the euro-region debt crisis damps demand for the Baltic country’s goods in its main export markets.

“The GDP numbers reflect the changing focus of growth: from foreign trade and manufacturing to private consumption,” Annika Lindblad, a Nordea Markets economist in Helsinki, said today by e-mail. The main danger “remains the heightened downside risks for global trade on a weakening global economy, with especially the euro area problems casting a shadow over the still export-oriented recoveries of the Baltic countries.”

The yield on Lithuania’s 2012 dollar bond fell 0.07 percentage point today to 5.76 percent, the lowest since the bond began trading in January.

The economy will expand 2 percent this year, Lindblad forecasts, as consumer and business confidence weaken along with exports. GDP will probably grow 2.3 percent, the European Commission said Feb. 23, trimming an earlier 3.4 percent estimate.

Industrial production, which accounts for about 20 percent of economic output, fell 2.1 percent in December, the biggest drop since January 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at mseputyte@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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