SEB revises down Baltic growth projections after unimpressive H1

SEB Bank has revised down Lithuania’s GDP growth projections, estimating that the country’s economy will grow 2.2% this year and 2.5% in 2017.

In its earlier projections, the bank expected Lithuania’s GDP to grow 2.8% and 3.2%, respectively.

SEB, which published its “Nordic Outlook” report this week, sees the Latvian economy growing 2.4% this year and 3.5% in 2017, whereas Estonia’s GDP is expected to inch up 1.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

Earlier estimates for the three Baltic states were higher, but slower than expected growth in the first half of this year mandated a review.

Annual inflation is expected to grow from 0.8% this year to 1.5% next year and 2.5% in 2018. Meanwhile unemployment is expected to fluctuate between 7% and 8% for the next two years.

SEB has also cut its Eurozone growth estimates, with 1.6% growth expected in 2016, which is 0.1 point below last year’s.

Although analysts are optimistic about decreasing unemployment, rising consumption and modest growth, the Eurozone is expected to weather the results of Brexit. SEB analysts predict that the United Kingdom will trigger Article 50 of the EU charter on secession in early 2017. The British economy is expected to stagnate this year and rise only 0.9% next year.

US economic policy is not expected to change much, with specialists only giving Donald Trump a 15% chance of winning the presidential election. With unemployment at near historic low and wage growth accelerating, the US Federal Reserve, is expected to raise interest rates a number of times next year.

The Russian economy is slowly rising from a lasting recession with two quarters of positive growth. After a 0.4% drop this year, the Russian economy is expected to grow 1% next year. All of this is buoyed by oil prices which rose early this year and the recently strengthened rouble which has slowed inflation and but a break on the decline in purchasing power.

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