(Bloomberg) -- It may yet turn out to be a blip, but it’s something of a milestone for the European Union’s fastest-shrinking nation.
For the first time on record, more people immigrated into Lithuania last month than left, buoyed by inflows from Ukraine and Belarus. Net arrivals may have been small after the loss of almost a quarter of the population since 1990. But with the whole of ex-communist Europe enduring labor shortages as workers head west for higher pay, the Baltic nation of 2.8 million people can count this as an achievement.
That’s shaping up to be a problem: the International Monetary Fund said in May that a shrinking population risks curbing economic growth to as low as about 2 percent in the medium term -- probably not enough to persuade many emigres that their futures lie back home.
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