Ericsson is driving force behind Estonia’s industrial growth

In the second quarter, most of the growth in the sector of electronics and optical products, the fastest-growing segment in the Estonian industry, came from Ericsson.

Lilian Bykova, senior statistician of Statistics Estonia, said that the electronics sector was growing mainly on account of increasing volumes, not prices. “Prices in the electronics sector in July 2011 were actually 3% lower than in July 2010,” she said.

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Ilves re-elected President of Estonia

Incumbent candidate Toomas Hendrik Ilves was re-elected in the first round of presidential elections in Parliament August 29, beating rival Indrek Tarand with a vote of 73 to 25.

Ilves cleared the minimum 68 votes needed to sweep the round, an unsurprising result given previously-pledged support from Reform, IRL and the Social Democrats, who among them control 75 votes in the 101-seat Parliament.

MEP Indrek Tarand, the challenger nominated by the Centre Party, said he accepted the challenge as a service for Estonian democracy and to strike a blow against “stagnant” public administration.

Source: ERR News

Estonian culture festival in Paris

A major festival of Estonian culture, Estonie tonique, will take place in Paris in October and November; it is so far the biggest cultural cooperation project between the two countries.

The aim of the festival is to give a better idea of Estonia through the medium of culture and development of bilateral relations in the cultural sphere and in wider terms, Katrin Arvisto, spokeswoman for the Culture Ministry told BNS. The festival has a versatile program, including examples from nearly all sphere of culture, but with music represented the best.

There will be more than 200 performers taking part in the festival program of more than fifty cultural events in Paris, its suburbs and in Amiens.

Organization of the festival is shouldered mutually by the Estonian and French Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs with the French Institute in Paris and the Estonian Embassy in Paris helping to carry it out.

The festival will open with a concert of the Estonian National Male Choir  in St Eustache’s Church in Central Paris.

Expenses connected with the festival will be covered both by the Estonian and the French sides. About 275,000 euros has been earmarked for the organization of the festival in the Estonian  Culture Ministry budget for this year.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia supports Russia’s accession to WTO

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Finland’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb discussed further enlargement of the European Union, the state of the world’s economy and Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Paet said Estonia and Finland shared the same objectives in European Union affairs and that their positions largely overlapped. “Together with Finland, we are contributing to the development of the Baltic Sea strategy and the digital market. We also consider it important that the EU’s internal market function better as a whole,“ Paet added.

Stubb and Paet also discussed the world economy and developments related to the aid package for Greece. Paet stressed the importance of all member states contributing to keep the Eurozone’s debt crisis from deepening and widening. “To avoid further deepening of the crisis, strict financial and structural reforms must be carried out,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

The officials noted Estonia and Finland’s shared interests in foreign trade issues. “Estonia and Finland support Russia’s accession to the WTO as soon as possible. Russia’s joining the WTO will give the business community greater sense of security in doing business,” he said.

On the topic of further enlargement of the EU, Stubb and Paet said they agreed that the EU must support and assist European countries that have chosen the path of democracy and closer relations with the Community. “The next country to join the EU after Croatia could be Iceland. But further enlargement should take place in the Western Balkans, so accession talks with Serbia should begin,“ said Paet.

Source: Estonian Review

The average labour cost is 7.75 eur per hour

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 857 euros and they grew 4.2% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. But the real wages continued the falling trend, which had lasted for over two years and a half already.

The real wages which took into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index and which shows the purchasing power of wages and salaries, decreased for the eleventh quarter in succession. In the 2nd quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the real wages decreased by 1%. In the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average hourly gross wages and salaries were 5.08 euros and they increased by 4.8% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

The monthly gross wages and salaries increased for the fifth quarter in succession. Comparing the monthly gross wages and salaries with the 2nd quarter of 2008, only in eight economic activities the average monthly gross wages and salaries of the economic activity has reached the level of 2008. In eleven economic activities the level of the average monthly gross wages and salaries of the economic activity is still lower than in 2008.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010, the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in real estate activities (11.8% and 13.7%, respectively), and decreased the most in other service activities (4.2% and 6.9%, respectively).

The average gross wages and salaries were 801 euros in April, 860 euros in May and 913 euros in June.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, as at the end of June, the number of employees increased by 2.8% compared to the same period in 2010.

In the 2nd quarter of 2011, the employer’s average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,159 euros and the average hourly labour costs were 7.75 euros. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased by 4.1% and the average hourly labour costs by 3.5%.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010, the average monthly and hourly labour costs per employee increased the most in real estate activities (11.1% and 13.8%, respectively), and decreased the most in other service activities (4.9% and 7.3%, respectively).

Statistics Estonia conducts the survey of wages and salaries statistics on the basis of international methodology since 1992. In 2011, the sample includes 11,277 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full time units to enable a comparison of different wages and salaries, irrespective of the length of working time. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.). In short term statistics, the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries, 1st quarter 2007 – 2nd quarter 2011 (euros)
  Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter
2007 724 660 738 697 784
2008 825 788 850 800 838
2009 784 776 813 752 783
2010 792 758 822 759 814
2011   792 857    

Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee, 2nd quarter 2011

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries and monthly labour costs per employee, 2nd quarter 2011

Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2nd quarter 2011

Diagram: Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2nd quarter 2011

Source: Statistics Estonia

Construction grew by a tenth

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the total production of Estonian construction enterprises in Estonia and foreign countries grew 11%, of which 10% on domestic market.

In the 2nd quarter of 2011, the production value of construction enterprises amounted to 388 million euros, of which the production value of building construction was 228 million euros and the production of civil engineering totalled 160 million euros. Compared to the same quarter of 2010, the volume of building construction increased 12% and the volume of civil engineering 11%. During the last years the construction market has been supported mainly by the construction of infrastructure objects, but by now also the building construction is on the upswing with the help of reconstruction allocations in order to increase energy efficiency.

The construction volume of Estonian construction enterprises in foreign countries increased by a fourth compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010. The increase was caused by the building constructions. The share of the construction volumes in foreign countries accounted for 12% of the total volume of construction volume in the 2nd quarter.

According to the data of the Register of Construction Works, in the 2nd quarter of 2011, the number of dwelling completions was 406, i.e. about a fifth more than in the same period of 2010. More than a half of completed dwellings were situated in one-family, two-family or terraced houses. The average floor area of a completed dwelling was 130 square metres, which is one of the biggest indicators during last years. The majority of completed dwellings were situated in the neighbouring rural municipalities of Tallinn. In spite of the consumer’s price sensitivity the demand for new dwellings with good location and quality has grown continuously. In the 2nd quarter of 2011, building permits were granted for the construction of 727 dwellings, which exceeded the number of dwellings in the same quarter of 2010 about by a half. The most popular type of building was one-family dwelling.

In the 2nd quarter of 2011, the number of completed non-residential buildings was 173 with the useful floor area of 82,000 square metres. The useful floor area of commercial, agriculture and store buildings increased the most. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2010, the useful floor area and the cubic capacity of completed non-residential buildings decreased.

Construction volume index and its trend, 1st quarter 2000 – 2nd quarter 2011 (average of quarters of 2005 = 100)

Diagram: Construction volume index and its trend, 1st quarter 2000 – 2nd quarter 2011

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonian households spend 26 pct of money on food

An average household member in Estonia spent 69 euros a month on food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2010, which accounted for 26 percent of total expenditures per household member and was the largest separate expenditure item, its appears from an household budget study by Statistics Estonia.
A household member spent on the average 265 euros a month last year.

Piret Tikva, head of social surveys at Statistics Estonia, said in the blog of the national statistics office that expenditures for food do not include eating out and spending on alcohol and tobacco. Besides they often fail to show the food that children buy for their pocket money.

An average household member spent 6.8 euros a month on eating out during 2010, while alcohol and tobacco claimed nine euros a month. Tikva pointed out that expenditures for alcohol and tobacco are often shown as smaller than they actually are because households are unwilling to reveal their actual size.

For residents in Latvia and Lithuania expenditures for food are in the same range as in Estonia in absolute terms, but make up a bigger share of people’s overall expenditures.

In Latvia food expenditures totaled on the average 70 euros a month, making up 28 percent of total expenditures by a household member, whereas in Lithuania their size was 80 euros and the ratio of total expenditures was 34 percent.

Data on the expenditures of households is gathered by the expenditure dairy method. In 2010 more than 3,600 households participated in the survey.

Source: Estonian Review

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