Manufacturing of electronic products increased

According to Statistics Estonia, in August 2011, the production of industrial enterprises grew 23% compared to the same month of the previous year. The growth in production was most of all influenced by the manufacturing of electronic products.


If at the beginning of the year the production of industrial enterprises grew by around 30%, then since May the growth slightly slowed down compared to the same month of the previous year. The reason for the slowdown lies in the slowly improving comparison basis.
In August 2011, the production of manufacturing increased by over a quarter compared to August of the previous year. Exports influenced the growth in production the most – more than 70% of the whole production of manufacturing was sold on the external market. The manufacturing production sold on the external market grew by 52%, and the domestic sales increased by 22% compared to August of the previous year.

In August, production exceeded the volume of the same month of the previous year in most branches of industry. Manufacturing of electronic products influenced the growth in production the most. Nearly one fourth of the total production volume of manufacturing was produced in this branch in August, which is by over two times more than in August of the previous year. The branches of industry also holding bigger shares were the manufacturing of wood, food and metal products where production grew 7%, 2% and 25%, respectively. With respect to the branches of industry holding smaller shares, production increased significantly in the manufacturing of machinery and equipment as well as in the manufacturing of electrical equipment.

In August 2011 compared to July, the seasonally adjusted total industrial production decreased 2%, in manufacturing the decrease was by 1% smaller.

Compared to August 2010, the production of electricity increased 12% and the production of heat decreased 2%.

Trends of production in branches of industry in Estonia, January 2002 – August 2011 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Trends of production in branches of industry in Estonia

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Stable growth in retail sales

According to Statistics Estonia, in August 2011 compared to August of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 4% at constant prices. During the last seven months, retail sales were showing a stable growth in comparison with the same month of the previous year.

In August, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 347 million euros. The increase in retail sales of goods was most of all influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods, where retail sales increased by a tenth compared to August 2010. Sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics and the retail sales in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear were smaller than in August of the previous year. The growth in turnover was the largest in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials, where retail sales increased 16% during the year. Non-specialized stores with industrial goods predominating and other specialized stores were also successful. Compared to August 2010, retail sales in these stores increased 15% and 13%, respectively.

The retail sales in grocery stores remained at the same level compared to August of the previous year. The growth in the sales volume of these stores was retarded by price increase which was faster than the average.

Compared to the previous month, the retail sales of goods in retail trade enterprises decreased 3% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, retail sales decreased 1%. During eight months of 2011 (January – August), the retail sales of goods in retail trade enterprises increased 3% at constant prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In August the net sales of retail trade enterprises were almost 435 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 80%. Compared to August 2010, net sales increased 13% at current prices. But compared to the previous month, this indicator decreased 1%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – August 2011 (2005 =100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

Source: Statistics Estonia

Harvesting is coming to an end

According to Statistics Estonia,by 15 September, 96% of the sown area of cereals, 75% of the sown area of rape and turnip rape, and 49% of the area under potatoes had been harvested in Estonia.

Compared to the previous year, harvesting has progressed at quite a similar pace this year and is coming to an end soon. The yield per hectare of harvesting area is slightly bigger than last year. In the last two years, rape was harvested at a bit earlier time.

According to preliminary data, in Estonia, in 2011 cereals were grown on 299,000 hectares, of which 96% has been harvested for grain. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 2,765 kilograms of cereals, of which 2,619 kilograms of rye, 2,943 kilograms of wheat, 2,649 kilograms of barley and 2,429 kilograms of oats. A part of cereals sown for grain will be harvested for green fodder.

Rape and turnip rape were grown on 89,100 hectares, of which three fourths have been harvested. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 1,672 kilograms of rape and turnip rape seeds.

Potatoes were grown on 9,200 hectares, of which nearly a half has been harvested. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 20,870 kilograms of potatoes.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonia no. 1 worldwide in air quality

Estonians are breathing easier than most people in the world, ranking first in an-air quality index released by the World Health Organization on Monday.

Estonia topped the list with the best air quality, Mauritius ranked second, and Canada tied with Australia for third.

Estonia benefited from lower population density, favourable climate and stricter air pollution regulation — conditions unavailable to those at the bottom of the list, according to WHO.

Read more from BBN

Estonians produce the largest amount of waste in EU

More waste per capita is created in Estonia than in any other EU state, says Eurostat.

Eurostat announced that in Estonia, 8,216 kilograms of non-mineral waste was created per capita. EU average was 1,853 kilograms.

Eurostat says that in Estonia the large amount waste is caused by the energy and refinery sector. Households created just 4% of the non-mineral waste in Estonia, which was the lowest level in the EU where the average was 23%.

Read more from BBN

Russians buy apartments in Estonia to get visa

Well-off Russian citizens, mainly from Moscow and St. Petersburg area, have become notably more active in buying apartments in Northeast Estonia because it entitles them to obtain the Schengen visa, writes Postimees. For instance, Russian citizens own about a third of all apartments in a 24-apartment building in Voka town in Northeast Estonia. Many of them have never set their foot in Estonia and never will. One such apartment in Voka costs up to 10,000 euros.

Read more from BBN

Over 60 nations sign up for global cleanup

Over 60 countries are participating in the civic initiative Let’s Do It World 2012, which aims to clean up illegal dumps with the help of volunteers around the world, said Rainer Nõlvak, organizer of the campaign.

Launched originally in Estonia in 2008, the initiative brought together 50,000 volunteers in its first year, pitching in to tidy up the country.

Since then, national or district-level waste-gathering campaigns have been organized in 16 countries including some of the world’s largest nations India, Brazil and Russia.

The upcoming global event starting in March 2012 and running for six months will be the biggest undertaking yet, carried out in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and several Asian nations. For example, in Ghana, an estimated 500,000 people will make an effort to rid their nation from trash, said Nõlvak, adding that in each country mass cleanups will take place within 24 hours as in Estonia in 2008.

Currently the global initiative has 51 volunteer coordinators, yet as the number of participatory nations is growing, the organizers are on a lookout for more people to lend a hand for the project.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia to hike alcohol excise duty by 5 pct

The state budget bill endorsed by the Estonian government on Thursday envisages a 5 percent increase in the rate of the alcohol excise duty from the start of 2012, a measure that is estimated to bring 10 million euros of additional money into the state coffers in 12 months.

The minister of finance, Jürgen Ligi, said at the government’s press conference the reason for hiking the tax rate was not the desire to get money into the budget but to avoid letting alcohol become cheaper in relative terms.

“There have been long periods of time indeed when the availability of alcohol in money terms has kept increasing, at least in comparison with other goods,” Ligi said. “In this sense I find it to be justified
as an idea, even though it represents a certain tax rise,” he added.

The projected intake of alcohol excise duty in the state budget for 2012 is 193 million euros.
The five percent hike means that the price of a one-liter bottle of vodka will rise from the present 12 euros to 12.35 euros, meaning a 3 percent increase in retail price. The price of a 0.7-liter bottle of
wine now costing 5 euros would rise to 5.03 euros, meaning an increase of 0.6 percent, while for a half-liter bottle of beer currently costing 0.83 euros the new price would be approximately one percent

A comparison with neighbors shows that the Estonian excise rates are higher than those of Latvia and Lithuania but lower than of Finland, it stands in the covering letter accompanying the bill.

The last time alcohol excise duty was raised in Estonia was on Jan. 1, 2010, when the rate of increase was 10 percent. The bill sets expenditures at 6.57 billion euros and revenues at 6.1 billion euros and the shortfall of the budget will equal 2.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Of next year’s budgetary
revenues tax revenues are projected to make up 76.4 percent and non- tax revenues 23.6 percent.

Source: Estonian Review

Representatives of 142 ethnic nationalities live in Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, by the data of the last, 2000 Population Census, five bigger ethnic groups and over a hundred representatives of various ethnic nationalities live in Estonia.

Ten population censuses have been conducted on the territory of Estonia, the first of which was carried out in 1881. During the five generations, Estonians have been ethnic majority in Estonia. During the first Population Census, Germans and Russians were the most numerous ethnic minorities, accounting for correspondingly 5% and 3% of the population (nearly 47,000 and 29,000). During the next Population Census in 1897, the share of Germans had decreased below 4% and the decline continued also during the next censuses. At the same time the share of Russians in population increased and reached its peak during the 1989 Population Census, when Russians accounted for 30% of the population in Estonia.

During the 2000 Population Census, representatives of 142 ethnic nationalities were enumerated in Estonia. Five bigger ethnic groups (with more than 10,000 representatives) are Estonians, Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians and Finns. During the previous, 1989 Population Census, the different ethnic nationalities totalled 121. The changes in the ethnic composition of the population in the period between the two censuses may be first and foremost connected with the migration taking place during the 11 years and possible change of self-determination.

A new overview about ethnic nationalities living in Estonia will be provided after the 2011 Population and Housing Census which will begin at the end of the year. This year the Population Census will be conducted for the eleventh time on the territory of Estonia. Previous censuses were carried out in 1881, 1897, 1922, 1934, 1941, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989 and 2000. The ethnic nationality was registered already during the first Population Census. If to exclude the 1897 Census encompassing the whole Russia, ethnic nationality has been asked in all Censuses conducted on the territory of Estonia during 130 years.

Source: Statistics Estonia (SEE GRAPHS HERE)

General government budget was in surplus 2010

According to revised data of Statistics Estonia, in 2010, the Estonian general government sector surplus was 0.2% and gross debt level was 6.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to revised data, the total revenues of the general government sector surmounted the expenditures, accounted as the Maastricht deficit criteria, by 35.2 million euros at the end of 2010. Due to the methodological correction suggested by Eurostat, the tax revenues of 2010 increased by 30.6 million euros compared to the preliminary data and the 2009 tax revenues decreased accordingly. The need for this kind of correction derived from the uneven proportion of the reimbursements of the value-added tax allocated to the further control at the end of 2009, which tampered the yearly results of the value-added tax receipts.

According to the revised data, the deficit of central government was 77.6 million euros. The general government consolidated budget was dragged to the surplus by the positive results of other sub-sectors: local government’s sector’s surplus was 30.5 million euros and the surplus of the social security funds 82.3 million euros.

The general government consolidated debt (Maastricht debt), showing a diminishing trend over several recent years, was 956.7 million euros at the end of 2010, out of which the local government’s sector’s debt accounted for 57%. The debt level of the social security funds was continually very low compared to other sectors, only 256,000 euros. Compared to the preliminary data there were no significant changes in the debt level indicators.

See a graph on Statistics Estonia website:

Surplus/deficit and debt level of the general government and the sub-sectors, 2006–2010