February 14th, 2016

Lithuanian phenomena: pains and joys of large numbers of labour migrants

GDP per capita is the main indicator about the economic situation in some country. It shows how much goods and services country produces per capita. Another important indicator is AIC - actual individual consumption. It shows how much people in some country are able to spend on goods and services. Of course these two indicators are strongly correlated (it is difficult to consume goods ands services not producing them :)) But various facctors exists. In December Eurostat issued the data about AIC in different European countries (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/7103376/2-11122015-BP-EN.pdf/55f18bec-a72f-4988-b2c2-3eb47eaacc96). The latest data are from 2014 and we see next map of Europe according the AIC:

There are 10 countries that has AIC above average European level. And there is nothing surprising : these are traditionally reachest and best developed countries of Europe (in fact countries of north-west of Europe). The lowest group comprises countries where consumption is more than 30% below average Euopean level: these are mainly Balkan countries (including Turkey and Hungary). Unfortunately to this group belong our northern neighbors - Latvia and Estonia. The mostly mixed group is the second group - countries where consumption is between 70% and 100% of average European level.To this group belong such countries as Italy, Ireland, Spain from one side and Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic from the another side. Lithuania too belongs to this second group. So we are not in so bad company :)
Looking closer to the details we see that obvious leaders of this group are Italy (98%) and Ireland (96%) which are very close to the first group. But the result of Lithuania is the most surprising. With 81% of average European level we are on pair with such countries as Greece and Portugal (82%). Not far away from Spain (86%). And in front of all other CEE countries - Poland (74%), Czech Republic (79%), Slovakia (77%) and even Slovenia. The difference between GDP and AIC for Lithuania is the biggest. This phenomena isn't very new and could be explained only by the presence of large groups of our labour migrants in such countries as Norway, Britain, Sweden, etc. According some estimates they are making the biggest foreign capital investments to this country :) Migration always has two sides: dark side and bright side ...