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Lithuania's GDP growth highest among EU countries

Staff writer |
There are four clear winners among the countries from the European Union. Lithuania and Latvia, together with Poland and Slovakia, have made gains of over 40% in GDP per person since joining the union.

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The advances in the Baltic economies (including Estonia's 30% gain) are particularly notable since all three experienced savage downturns in 2009, after the financial crisis.

There is also one clear loser. Cypriots have actually become less well-off, suffering a 13% decline in living standards since 2004. Slovenia, which also experienced a big banking crisis (though not on the scale of Cyprus's) has also done badly, with GDP per person rising by only 7%.

Among the ten, six have since adopted the euro, most recently Latvia at the start of this year. Those joining the single currency before the financial crisis peaked in late 2008, such as Slovenia in 2007 and Cyprus in 2008, have done worse than those joining after it, such as Estonia in 2011.

But Cyprus's reckless banking expansion dated back to joining the EU rather than the euro. And Hungary, outside the euro, has done almost as badly as Slovenia, within it.

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