Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/29/2014 -- Lithuania has seen robust economic growth, due to improvements in household consumption and strong exports, and has prompted a revised forecast of 3.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) real GDP growth, up from our previous forecast of 2.6%. This growth is reflected the country's freight sector, particularly the air freight sector, which is forecast to see growth of 9.68% y-o-y in 2014. Rail freight is also showing signs of steady, though modest, growth over our forecast period.
Lithuania's freight industry closely correlates with the health of the eurozone and in particular, the country's biggest trade partner, Russia, as these are the country's largest export markets. Therefore, the strength of the euro plays a key role in Lithuania's exports too.
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Growth in Lithuanian exports of goods and services remained in the double digits, averaging 14.6% yearon- year (y-o-y) in the first two quarters of 2013. Although higher household consumption and rising fixed investment have resulted in higher imports of goods and services growth, which accelerated to 14.0% y-o-y in Q213, average quarterly import growth in H113 stood at 12.7% y-o-y, moderately underperforming export growth and thus providing a net positive impact on headline economic growth in H113.
Headline Industry Data
- We expect air freight volumes to grow 12.9% to 16,668 tonnes in 2014. We believe growth will average 4.95% a year in the five years to 2018.
- At the Port of Klaipeda, we forecast growth in cargo volume of 1.5% to 35.05mn tonnes in 2014.
- We expect rail freight volumes to grow by 2.39% to 50.6mn tonnes in 2013.
- In 2013, we expect total road tonnage volume to increase by 3.33% to 50.04mn tonnes.
Key Industry Trends
Investment Sailing In...
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to extending a loan of EUR 87 million (mn) to the staterun port terminal operator Klaipedos Nafta AB to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility at the port of Klaipeda. Lietuvos-Dujos, a Lithuania-based gas company, has executed a service agreement with Klaipedos Nafta, to operate the natural gas transmission system. There is some concern surrounding Gazprom's gas contracts coming to an end in 2015, surrounding the looming decision for a new Baltic LNG terminal, which ministers hope will begin construction in early 2014 once a decision on the location has been made.
High Speed Rail Baltica Plans Steam Ahead
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