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Lithuania’s Current-Account Gap Grows Twofold in 1st Quarter

Lithuania’s current-account deficit more than doubled in the first quarter to the widest gap since 2008 after the European Union suspended regional development aid.

The shortfall ballooned to 9.2 percent of gross domestic product from 3.8 percent in the previous three months, the Vilnius-based central bank said in a statement on its website today. The gap totaled 2.3 billion litai ($840 million), it said.

The Baltic nation’s current-account deteriorated after the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, suspended transfers from cohesion funds in February after reviewing a report by the Lithuanian state auditor, which required additional explanation on the distribution of the aid. The commission resumed regional development aid in May after the Finance Ministry provided the required information.

The capital and financial account, which mainly represents EU aid for Lithuania’s investment projects, narrowed to 98 million litai in the first quarter from 597 million litai in the previous three months, the central bank said.

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