© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Entrepreneurs in Lithuanian cities have the highest levels of optimism but the mood among companies is pessimistic in the country’s smaller cities and towns, according to a Citadele Bank business confidence survey carried out in Lithuania for the first time.

The new business sentiment index was at 51.15 in March which showed that overall Lithuanian companies were moderately optimistic.

The study which surveyed 750 business leaders across the country showed that the index in Vilnius was 53.95, in Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys - 51.26, and in the countryside - 50.07.

A less upbeat mood predominated among companies working in smaller cities and towns: here the index value was below the threshold of 50 points indicating pessimism about the future.

Lithuanian construction companies have currently the highest levels of confidence. The construction sector index in March this year was at 54.69 and was ahead of service providers at 52.06.

However, the mood in the production (49.71) and trade (48.85) sectors were pessimistic.

The survey showed that over the next six months, the majority of Lithuanian companies plan to increase investment, hire more employees, and also expect a consistent improvement in the economy.

The Citadele indicator reflecting business forecasts for the next six months was also positive with a rating of 55.92 showing that entrepreneurs are optimistic about the upcoming six month period.

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