Low life expectancy rate ‘a huge problem for Lithuania’

DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Lithuanian population productivity, compared to Western European countries remains very low and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) think this problem could be best solved by extending the life expectancy rate in Lithuania.

“Life expectancy is an indicator that shows the quality of the labour force – whether it is healthy, how well can it carry out its functions. In most studies analysing economic growth issues these indicators are mentioned next to each other,” said Ara Stepanyan, senior economist at the IMF European department developing economies division.

On Monday, IMF representatives presented this year’s spring report on the Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European economies at the Bank of Lithuania. The IMF forecasts that Lithuania’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 will grow by 2.7%. A similar – about 3% growth can be expected in most other countries in the region.

According to the IMF’s European Department developing economies division economist Jiri Podpiera, working age population is shrinking in most countries in the region, while in Lithuania it is decreasing the fastest – by 2% yearly.

“To avoid this problem coming down the tracks countries should increase their labour supply. It is still possible to activate the unemployed in the Baltic States,” he said.

DELFI

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