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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Estonia Expecting Data to Confirm Recovery




VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Baltic economic data due for release this month will confirm that Estonia has returned to growth after the Russian crisis, but Latvia and especially Lithuania are lagging behind, analysts said Monday.


"In the Baltics, a clear recovery has already begun in Estonia. The process is delayed in Latvia and Lithuania," Swedish bank SEB said last week.


On Monday, Estonia became the first of the three to post positive gross domestic product figures, showing growth of 0.2 percent in the third quarter.


Analysts said other data for the month - with inflation figures coming later this week and industrial output due mid-month - would all demonstrate a successful reorientation of Estonia's lithe economy away from Russia.


Hansapank analyst Maris Lauri said Estonian consumer-price growth should remain stable month-on-month at about 0.2 percent while the headline figure would rise to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent in October.


"As economies recover, inflation will be going up," she said.


Latvian CPI would edge up to around 3.0 percent from 2.9 percent last year while Lithuania would pick up from its near-deflationary level to post an annual price rise of 0.5 percent to 0.6 percent versus 0.3 percent year-on-year in October, she added.


Other Latvian data should confirm the country had hit bottom, but analysts are still unsure whether industrial output, due out Monday, will show continued improvement even after September's 4.4 percent monthly surge.


As for Lithuania, analysts said the outlook was grim after it posted a record-high jobless rate of 9.5 percent last month.


"I think the picture in the Lithuanian economy is quite bleak," Handelsbanken analyst Gunnar Tersman said.