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Lithuania Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Since independence in September 1991, Lithuania has made steady progress in developing a market economy. Almost 50% of state property has been privatized and trade is diversifying with a gradual shift away from the former Soviet Union to Western markets. In addition, the Lithuanian government has adhered to a disciplined budgetary and financial policy which has brought inflation down from a monthly average of around 14% in first half 1993 to an average of 3.1% in 1994. Nevertheless, the process has been painful with industrial output in 1993 less than half the 1991 level. The economy appeared to have bottomed out in 1994, and Vilnius's policies have laid the groundwork for vigorous recovery over the next few years. Recovery will build on Lithuanian's strategic location with its ice-free port at Klaipeda and its rail and highway hub in Vilnius connecting it with Eastern Europe, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, and on its agriculture potential, highly skilled labor force, and diversified industrial sector. Lacking important natural resources, it will remain dependent on imports of fuels and raw materials.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $13.5 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -0.5% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $3,500 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      3.1% (monthly average 1994)

    • Unemployment rate:
      4.5% (January 1995)

    • Budget:

        $258.5 million

        $270.2 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

    • Exports:
      $2.2 billion (1994)

        electronics 18%, petroleum products 5%, food 10%, chemicals 6% (1989)

        Russia, Ukraine, Germany

    • Imports:
      $2.7 billion (1994)

        oil 24%, machinery 14%, chemicals 8%, grain NA% (1989)

        Russia, Germany, Belarus

    • External debt:

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -52% (1992); accounts for 35% of GDP

    • Electricity:

        6,190,000 kW

        18.9 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        4,608 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      industry's share in the economy has been declining substantially over the past year, due to the economic crisis and the growth of services in the economy; among branches which are still important: metal-cutting machine tools 6.6%, electric motors 4.6%, television sets 6.2%, refrigerators and freezers 5.4%; other branches: petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, and amber

    • Agriculture:
      employs around 18% of labor force; accounts for 25% of GDP; sugar, grain, potatoes, sugar beets, vegetables, meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, fish; most developed are the livestock and dairy branches, which depend on imported grain; net exporter of meat, milk, and eggs

    • Illicit drugs:
      transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; limited producer of illicit opium; mostly for domestic consumption

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (1992), $10 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-86), $NA million; Communist countries (1971-86), $NA million

    • Currency:
      introduced the convertible litas in June 1993

    • Exchange rates:
      litai per US$1 - 4 (fixed rate 1 May 1994)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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