We’d like to sincerely thank our guest speaker at the BMI Alumni Executive Club’s Annual Meeting, Indrė Genytė-Pikčienė, Chief Economist at INVL Asset Management. Her presentation was very informative, interesting and engaging.
Indrė spoke mostly about macroeconomic trends. Since Lithuania's economy is open and highly dependent on Europe and the rest of the world, we talked a lot about the global trends and how they affect Lithuania.
A lot of worrying factors, like skyrocketing inflation and record real estate prices, seem to have their explanations and even soothing counter statistics like the relatively low level of private and public indebtedness, and deposit levels outpacing credit in Lithuania. At the same time, economists are questioning whether the structural problems caused by the global energy crisis are being addressed properly by the monetary policy of the FED, the ECB and other central banks around the world.
One striking statistic is labour costs. In hourly terms, Lithuania is number 23 in Europe, so still among the lowest. But for labour costs as a percentage of GDP, we’re number 4, just below France and Germany, surpassing even so-called “welfare states” like Denmark. This suggests Lithuania’s economy still relies heavily on human resources as opposed to technology. On the other hand, the label ‘hardworking and cheap’ no longer applies. A forward-looking solution could be to invest in automation and technological advances in the country.
Insights for the future? It looks like the Lithuanian economy has not lost its potential and the forecast for 2023 could be “neutral”. The growth of recent years has put us at a very high base already, so it's difficult to grow further in the current circumstances, but there is no decline in sight.
Here is a photo gallery from the event.