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Lithuania's debt to reach 47.7% at the end of 2020 - government

VILNIUS, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The Lithuanian government expects its debt to reach 47.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2020, a Finance Ministry spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, the government had forecast a debt of 35.1% of GDP at the end of 2020.

Lithuania said in March it would borrow up to 5 billion euros - about 10% of its GDP - to support the economy during during the coronavirus outbreak.

The economy decreased 4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020, the second best result in the European Union. The central bank attributed the success to a prompt and short lockdown, generous state support and relatively unaffected trading partners.

The bank said in September economic growth had been better than expected and forecast a contraction of 2.0% this year, a sharp improvement from its June prediction for a 9.7% decline.

The central bank’s last forecast before the coronavirus pandemic, from September 2019, was for growth of 2.4% in 2020. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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