DEFINITION of 'Baltic Tiger'

A colloquial term that refers to any one of the three Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, especially in reference to their double-digit growth rates from 2000 to 2007. The Baltic tigers achieved independence in the early 1990s, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and embarked on an aggressive program of economic reforms and liberalization from 2000 onwards. These reforms led to significant inflows of foreign investment and resulted in these nations recording the highest growth rates in all of Europe, between 2000 and 2007.

BREAKING DOWN 'Baltic Tiger'

The Baltic Tigers share a number of attributes common to Tiger economies in other parts of the world. These attributes include an open economy, a highly-skilled workforce and relatively low wages. The credit crisis of 2008-2009 hit the Baltic Tigers especially hard, as they experienced the worst recessions among all nations worldwide, with gross domestic product contracting by 15 to 20%, in 2009.

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