The retail sales in October were smaller than a year ago

According to Statistics Estonia, in October 2008 compared to October of the previous year the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises decreased 7% at constant prices.

In October, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 4.6 billion kroons. The decrease in the retail sales of goods was mainly influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods where the retail sales of goods decreased 14% compared to October of the previous year. Compared to October 2007, the retail sales of goods decreased in most economic activities, except mail order sale and retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics. The retail sales in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear decreased the most (21%). The sales decrease of these stores was influenced by the low reference base in the previous year and by the high level of prices of clothing and footwear. The decrease in real estate and construction sector is continually influencing negatively the retail sales of stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials. In these stores the retail sales of goods decreased 18% during the year.

Compared to the previous months the retail sales in groscery stores slightly livened up, but remained at the same level compared to October of the previous year. The special sales campaigns in October contributed to the growth of retail sales in grocery stores.

Compared to September, the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 3% at constant prices.

In October the revenues from the sales of retail trade enterprises were 5.5 billion kroons, out of which retail sales of goods accounted for 85%. Compared to October of the previous year, the revenues from sales decreased 2% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 2%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend,
January 2000 – October 2008 (corresponding period of previous year =100
)

Source: Statistics Estonia

The decline in construction production continued in the 3rd quarter

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 3rd quarter of 2008 compared to the same period of the previous year, the total production of Estonian construction enterprises in Estonia and in foreign countries decreased 16%. The decline in construction production that had started at the beginning of the present year deepened even more in the 3rd quarter.

The construction market which had shown only growth since 2000 turned to the decline at the beginning of 2008 because the unsatisfactory demand and complicated financing conditions. A present situation on the construction market is similar to the year 1999 when due to the recession the construction enterprises suffered the most.

In the 3rd quarter of 2008 the production value of construction enterprises amounted to 9.9 billion kroons, of which the production value of building construction was 5.9 billion kroons and the production of civil engineering totalled 4.0 billion kroons. Compared to the same period of 2007 the volume of building construction decreased more than a fifth and the volume of civil engineering 3%. It was mainly caused by the decreased volumes in dwelling construction on domestic construction market.

Contrary to the domestic construction market which is on decline stage, in the 3rd quarter the construction volume in foreign countries increased 15% compared to the same period a year ago. The growth was caused by the building construction as well as civil engineering. Although the construction in foreign countries increased, its influence on the construction activity was very small, accounting only for 6% of the total volume of construction.

According to the data of the Register of Construction Works, in the 3rd quarter of 2008 the number of dwelling completions was 1,024, i.e. 454 dwellings less than in the same period of 2007. Similarly to the previous years, about three quarters of completed dwellings were situated in blocks of flats. The recession and the restricted loan terms decreased continuously the demand for new dwellings. In the 3rd quarter of 2008 building permits were granted for the construction of 1,030 dwellings, which is about half less compared to the same period of 2007. The most popular type of building was one-family dwelling.

In the 3rd quarter of 2008, the number of completed non-residential buildings was 232 with the useful floor area of 261,300 square metres. The useful floor area of commercial, industrial and storage buildings increased the most. Compared to the same period of 2007, the useful floor area and the cubic capacity of completed non-residential buildings increased.

Trend of construction volume index, 1st quarter 2000 – 3rd quarter 2008

(average of quarters of 2000 = 100)

Source: Statistics Estonia

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