The construction price index increased in Q2

According to Statistics Estonia, the percentage change of the construction price index in the 2nd quarter of 2013 was 0.8% compared to the 1st quarter of 2013 and 5.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2012.

In the 1st quarter, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the construction price index was primarily influenced by rising labour costs and the increase in the costs of building materials, which accounted respectively for more than 85% and over a tenth of the total increase of the index.

Compared to the previous quarter, labour costs increased by 1.2%, the costs of building machines increased by 1.6% and costs of building materials increased by 0.6%.

In the 2nd quarter of 2013, the percentage change of the repair and reconstruction work price index was 0.9% compared to the 1st quarter of 2013 and 5.4% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2012.

The calculation of the construction price index covers four groups of buildings: detached houses, blocks of flats, industrial buildings and office buildings. The repair and reconstruction work price index covers office buildings. The construction price index expresses the change in the expenditures on construction taking into consideration the price changes of three basic inputs: labour force, building materials and building machines.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

EU: Estonia’s small size creates corruption risk

A new report on the risks of using EU funds shows that corruption in Estonia is becoming more and more difficult to discover as more decisions are made on the political level, writes Postimees.

According to EU’s anti-fraud agency OLAF report, by the end of 2012, 339 violations or suspected violations of EU funding rules were detected in Estonia in the total amount of EUR 35m.

The report highlighted that the biggest risk of corruption is at the top of the system that distributes EU funding, ie on the political level, as well as on the lowest level, ie actual recipients of EU funding.

Read more from BBN

Estonia Ranked 25th in GEDI Index

Estonia is ranked ahead of its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Lithuania, in place 25, in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index compiled by the U.S. George Mason University. Lithuania is in the shared 32nd to 34th place and Latvia in 34th to 36th.

The GEDI report names fast growth, internationalization, and quality of human resources as Estonia’s strengths. Listed as the weakest points are opportunity perception, process innovation, and risk capital.

According to the report, Estonia could do with a more advanced informal investment sector and Estonian businesspeople, with closer contacts with other entrepreneurs.

At the top of the index is the United States, followed by Sweden and Denmark with an equal score.

Source: Estonian Review / BNS