Bank of Lithuania

Key April results. In April 2003, the balance of payments current account was negative amounting to LTL 627.5 million. Compared to March, the current account deficit (CAD) widened by LTL 202.8 million, and compared to April 2002, by LTL 306.4 million. The widening of the CAD in April was determined by a sizeable increase of the foreign trade deficit, while changes in other current account items were insignificant.

According to the data of the Department of Statistics, in April 2003, compared to March 2003, export of goods decreased by 15.8 per cent, while import went down by 3 per cent. In April 2003, compared to the same period last year, export of goods declined by 16.4 per cent, and import by 1.2 per cent. In April, compared to the same period last year, export of all major groups of goods, such as investment, intermediary consumption, consumer goods, cars and petrol, declined. Import of investment goods continued to grow, while import of cars saw a sizeable decline.

Compared to March 2003, export of services increased in April by 1.7 per cent, while import of services went down by 3.1 per cent. The positive balance of services amounted to LTL 123.6 million (LTL 108.3 million in March). The increase was determined by a larger number of foreign visitors, therefore, the positive travel balance increased by LTL 19.9 million. Compared to April 2002, export of services contracted by 4.8 per cent, while import of services went up by 3.6 per cent. The positive services balance contracted over the period under comparison by LTL 30.2 million.

In April 2003, payments to non-residents on their investment in Lithuania declined. As a result, the negative income balance in April (LTL -92.6 million) was LTL 8.4 million narrower than the negative income balance in March and LTL 10.2 million than in April last year.

The total positive balance of current transfers increased insignificantly and compared to March amounted to LTL 54.7 million.

The positive capital and financial account balance made up LTL 436.3 million. Foreign assets of domestic economic entities (financial claims to non-residents), excluding international reserves, contracted in April by LTL 110.7 million, while international financial liabilities went down by LTL 663.1 million. The balance of non-repayable capital transfers amounted to LTL 6.8 million in April.

Foreign assets of domestic commercial banks increased by LTL 279.3 million in April. The largest increase was recorded in commercial bank time deposits in foreign banks. Foreign assets of other sectors decreased by LTL 390 million.

Foreign direct investment flows were stood at close to LTL 98 million in April.

Also, in April the Government redeemed the Eurobond issue of 1999. As a result, the investment portfolio contracted by LTL 690.3 million. Other non-resident investment went down by LTL 67.6 million.

The negative international reserve flows in the balance of payments were LTL 982 million in April 2003. The main reason behind the decrease was the decline of deposits of central government institutions in foreign currencies by LTL 1,164.3 million, part of which were used to redeem an earlier Eurobond issue. Another source of the decrease was the net sale of foreign exchange to commercial banks of LTL 179.5 million. The reserves were pushed up by LTL 111.8 million by Bank of Lithuania repurchase transactions with non-residents and net inflows of the Bank of Lithuania from investment in foreign currencies.