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Lithuanian central bank governor warns of strengthening global risks
Last Updated: 2018-10-10 13:20 | Xinhua
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Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania Vitas Vasiliauskas warned on Tuesday that strengthening global risks would start to take a toll on economic growth.

"Although the global economy is still in the expansion phase, expert analyses indicate that economic outlook is becoming gloomier, especially in terms of international trade," Vasiliauskas said in a statement on Tuesday before leaving to the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Indonesia.

In his remarks, Vasiliauskas referred to the latest World Economic Outlook by the IMF which cut economic growth forecasts for 2019 for the world economy by 0.2 percentage point compared to the previous forecast in July.

Vasiliauskas, who is also the member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) and a member of the Board of Governors of the IMF, noted one of the main factors behind the slowdown is the rise in protectionism.

"Intensified trade restrictions and mounting uncertainty are taking a toll on international trade, which is projected to expand by 4.2 percent this year -- 1.0 percentage point slower than in 2017," said Vasiliauskas.

He urged his own country to take preparations amid rising global risks due to Lithuania's openness, which makes the small Baltic economy sensitive to changes in global economic conditions.

"It is vital to prepare for potential shocks well in advance and accumulate financial buffers that could cushion the effects of an economic slowdown," warned Vasiliauskas.

Lithuania is a small Baltic country with population of less than 3 million. Its economic growth is expected to slow down to 2.9 percent in 2019 from 3.5 percent this year, according to the latest forecast by IMF.

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