Sat, 31 Oct 2020

VILNIUS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's economy is projected to contract by 2 percent in 2020 and recover by 3.1 percent next year according to the baseline macroeconomic scenario, the country's central bank said in its report published on Monday.

The Lithuanian economy has so far suffered less from the COVID-19 pandemic than many other countries, said the report, citing the relatively low spread of the virus, the relatively smaller economic downturn in its main trading partners, the country's industrial structure, the rapidly recovering consumption, and the implemented stimulus measures.

"Recent indicators confirm that the main sectors of the economy such as industry, trade, and exports, have already reached or almost reached pre-pandemic levels and that most of the economy can function normally," Vitas Vasiliauskas, board chairman of the Bank of Lithuania, was quoted as saying in the bank's press release.

This "fragile respite" must be used in such a way that Lithuania allocates state funds and the envisaged European Union support package to mitigate the effects of the pandemic by purposefully planning long-term investments to transform the economy and solve long-standing problems, Vasiliauskas added.

Regarding the labor market, Vasiliauskas said the number of jobs in IT, communications and financial services grew, whereas the number of jobs fell the most in accommodation, catering and business service sectors.

The uncertainty about the economic consequences of the pandemic remains high, the central bank said in its report. Based on a pessimistic macroeconomic scenario, Lithuania's GDP might contract by 2.4 percent this year and would not expand in 2021, while the mild scenario suggests that the country's economy would shrink by 0.2 percent in 2020 and recover by 5 percent next year.

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