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The Baltic States which consist of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Estonia is the smallest country with 45 thousands km² and 1,3 million population. Latvia represents 64,5 thousands km2 area and population of 2,2 million. Lithuania represents 65,3 thousands km² and population of 3,3 million.
The rapid growth in the Baltic States during the period of 2004-2008 with high GDP growth rates was mainly reached through domestic demand. Both, private consumption and investments increased considerably. Until 2008 the Baltic States had the fastest growing economies in Europe. During the last 10 years the consumption of beer and juices have significantly increased, but still have not reached the average level of Europe.
The severe deterioration of the economy in the Baltic States was caused by the overheated internal economy, based on heavy loan taking and intensified by the global crisis. As a consequence Estonia and Latvia came into recession by the end of 2008, followed by Lithuania in 2009.

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