Bank of Lithuania

In February 2003, the balance of payments current account recorded a surplus of LTL 69.1 million.Compared to January 2003, it contracted by LTL 163.6 million (70.3%).In February 2002, the balance of payments current account was negative, amounting to LTL 292.8 million.Such developments were determined by an improved foreign trade balance.

According to the preliminary data of the Department of Statistics, in February 2003, compared to January 2002, export of goods decreased by LTL 7.5 million (0.4%), while import increased by LTL 92.7 million (4.6%).In February 2003, compared to the same period last year, export of goods increased by 40.9 per cent, while import grew by 8.8per cent.

Compared to January 2003, export of services increased in February by 15.7 per cent, while import of services went up by 8.4 per cent, and the positive balance of services grew by LTL 31.4 million (30%).

Compared to January, there was an increase of various payments to non-residents on investment in Lithuania (including LTL 58.8 million interest payments on Government Eurobonds), therefore the negative income balance reached LTL 88.3 million, up by LTL 85.5 million.

Owing to a re-grouping of non-repayable transfers, the total positive balance of current transfers, as compared to January 2003, declined by LTL 13.9 million, and by 37.5 per cent compared to February 2002.

The capital and financial account balance was negative at LTL 87.1 million.Foreign assets of domestic economic entities (financial claims to non-residents), excluding international reserves, increased by LTL 37 million in February, while international financial liabilities went up by LTL 106.6 million.

Foreign assets of domestic commercial banks decreased by LTL 240.4 million in January.The largest decline (LTL 114.7 million) was recorded in commercial bank deposits and correspondent accounts with foreign banks.Other commercial bank investment obligations to non-residents increased by LTL 123.9 million.

Foreign assets of other economic sectors grew by LTL 277.3 million, and their liabilities declined by LTL 63.2 million.

Foreign direct investment flows made up LTL 94.0 million in February 2003 (LTL 118.9 million in January 2003).

The positive international reserve flows in the balance of payments were LTL 156.7 million in February 2003.The main reason for the increase of international reserves was Bank of Lithuania operations with commercial banks.Net purchase of the foreign exchange by the Bank of Lithuania from commercial banks was LTL 289.3 million over the month under review.Reserves were also boosted by the net income of the Bank of Lithuania from investment in foreign exchange.Operations with central government institutions pushed down the international reserves by LTL 101.8 million, and the decline of Bank of Lithuania repurchase transactions with non-residents was a factor reducing the reserves by LTL 69.5 million.

Errors and omissions in the balance of payments in February 2003 made up LTL 18.1 million (in January 2003 this item stood at LTL 136.9 billion).