Lithuania will probably miss a deadline to narrow its budget deficit, threatening the Baltic nation’s access to the European Union development grants that have driven economic growth, the bloc’s executive arm said.
The fiscal gap may shrink 2.3 percentage points in 2012 to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product, exceeding the 3 percent limit set by the EU for a fifth year, the European Commission said today in an e-mailed statement from Brussels. The shortfall may drop to 3 percent in 2013, it added.
The grants helped Lithuania’s economy expand 5.9 percent in 2011, the second-fastest pace in the 27-member EU behind Estonia. Growth will slow to 2.4 percent this year, the commission said, cutting a previous 3.4 percent forecast.
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