SEB sees positive signs in its Baltic Household Outlook19.04.2012, 10:54
The year 2011 turned out to be surprisingly good for economic growth in the Baltic countries and much better than expected at the beginning of the last year, writes SEB in its Baltic Household Outlook.
In 2011 the Baltic States were the fastest growing economies in the EU. Estonia’s GDP demonstrated 7.6 percent increase, which was the fastest growth across the EU.
In 2011 Lithuania’s economy expanded by 5.9 percent, lagging only Estonia, while Latvia’s GDP growth by 5.5 percent was the 3rd fastest in the EU.
Strong economic growth was very much due to dynamic and competitive exports and better external demand as well as by pickup in domestic demand and private consumption.
The Baltic States are highly export-dependent, especially Estonia and Lithuania, therefore due to external demand decline economic growth will slow down this year.
Strong external demand boosted investments and had a positive impact on the labour market and job creation. In 2011 a number of employed people increased in all three Baltic countries. In Estonia employment rose by 6.7 percent, while in Latvia and Lithuania increase was 3.1 percent and 2 percent respectively. Since its labor market bottomed in the first quarter of 2010, Estonia has recovered approximately 60 thousand of the 107 thousand lost jobs.