In the 1st quarter the Estonian economy grew 1.7 pct

According to the flash estimates of Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia increased by 1.7% in the 1st quarter of 2016 compared to the 1st quarter of 2015.

In the 1st quarter of 2016, the seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP did not change compared to the previous quarter and grew by 1.8% compared to the 1st quarter of 2015.

The main contributor to the growth in the 1st quarter was the receipts of net taxes on products. The increase in alcohol and fuel excises had a significant impact on the growth. As the rise in the excise rates was shifted one month forward, the proceeds from excises shifted from the end of the previous year to the 1st quarter.

According to the preliminary estimates, added value in trade was the main contributor to the GDP growth among economic activities in the 1st quarter of 2016. The Estonian economy was inhibited the most by the decrease in value added in energy. While the domestic demand was strong, the economic growth was also slowed down by a decrease in foreign demand.

The export of goods of the total economy decreased at real prices by 2% compared to the 1st quarter of 2015, mainly due to a decrease in the export of electrical equipment and mineral products (incl. motor spirit, fuel oils, gas). However, the real import of goods of the total economy increased 4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. According to the preliminary estimates, the increase was biggest in the imports of other machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and trailers, and mineral products.

Diagram: GDP, real growth of the export and import of goods compared to the same quarter of the previous year

The flash estimate of economic growth is calculated only by production approach using VAT return information from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and data from various statistical actions of Statistics Estonia which have been obtained by the time of preparing the estimate. Therefore, the flash estimate may differ from the revised estimates of the GDP, which are based on the respective quarterly data and calculated by expenditure, production and income approach.

The revised GDP estimates for the 1st quarter of 2016 will be published by Statistics Estonia on 9 June.

Source: Statistics Estonia
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