Professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has published its latest economic forecast for the euro area. It is projected that Lithuania's GDP growth will stand at 2.1 percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, GDP growth in the euro area will stand at 1.6 and 1.8 percent respectively.
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Lithuania's GDP growth is expected to be affected by stronger trade growth and foreign investment. Lithuania will be among the top three fastest growing euro area's economies, only behind Latvia and Ireland.

According to Jonas Akelis, EY Managing Partner for the Baltic States, Lithuania still retains good competitiveness indicator. Based on the Global Competitiveness Report Lithuania improved its position by 5 places and now is 36th of 140 countries. Akelis notes that Lithuania's competitiveness is evaluated the best based on technology activities, macroeconomic indicators and low public debt. On the other hand it falls behind in recruitment and dismissal practices, the cost of dismissal, attraction and retention of talents. These are the factors limiting business development and attraction of investment.

Although Lithuania remains among five euro area countries with the lowest level of public debt, yet EY recommends maintaining fiscal discipline, regulating expenditure and reducing budget deficit. Recovering export is as important as fiscal discipline. In 2016 Lithuania's export growth is forecast to reach 6.5 percent. This is by 4.5 percentage points more compared to 2015.

The level of inflation in 2015 is expected to remain negative at minus 0.6 percent. However, in 2016 it will surpass the average euro area level and reach 1.6 percent. Unemployment is forecast to fall to 9.9 percent in 2015 and 9.1 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, in 2019 should decrease to 6.5 percent.

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