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Lithuania’s Central Bank Lowers 2013 GDP, Inflation Forecasts

Lithuania’s economy will probably grow at a slower pace than previously estimated next year as Europe’s debt crisis hurts exporters, the central bank said.

Gross domestic product will expand 3.4 percent, down from a May estimate of 3.5 percent, Lietuvos Bankas, based in the capital, Vilnius, predicted today in an e-mailed statement. It kept this year’s 3 percent growth estimate unchanged.

GDP growth slowed to 2.1 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, missing economist forecasts, as the Baltic country’s biggest exporter, Orlen Lietuva AB, curbed output. The Baltic economy is slowing from the second-fastest pace in the European Union last year as the continent’s debt crisis lowers demand for its products.

“External demand will grow less in the quarters to come, thus export growth in Lithuania may decline more,” the central bank said. “It is likely to recover only next year, if global economic development is more dynamic.”

The central bank also cut next year’s inflation-rate forecast to 2.4 percent from 2.7 percent, keeping the 2012 estimate unchanged at 2.9 percent.

Consumer-price growth accelerated to 2.8 percent in July, the fastest in three months. Lithuania needs price growth to ease to qualify for planned euro adoption in 2014.

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