- Estonia’s foreign direct investment position* at the end of 2015 put it behind only Hungary in volume among the newer European members from Central and Eastern Europe
- The Estonian current account in 2015 posted its largest surplus since independence was regained
- Both exports and imports of goods and services were down last year, but imports by more
- The current account was affected by large dividends paid out by the banking sector
Adjusted data show that the current account of the Estonian balance of payments had a surplus of 447 million euros in 2015, the largest since independence was regained. This does not reflect the strength of Estonian exports however, so much as a general decline in the trade of goods. Although both exports and imports of goods and services were down, it was the faster decline in imports that led the surplus in goods and services to grow. The surplus on the current account increased because the outflow of investment income slowed as large-scale extraordinary dividends were paid out by the banking sector in the middle of the year, and the income tax paid on these dividends to the Estonian state principally slowed the outflow. A little more was received from the European Union Structural Funds for infrastructure development than in 2014. The outflow of capital from the financial account was one billion euros larger than the inflow and the main channel for the outflow was portfolio and other investment.
Estonia was behind only Hungary for the foreign direct investment position among the newer European members from Central and Eastern Europe, and at the end of 2015 the direct investment position in Estonia was almost the same as the GDP of the year.
Sources: Eurostat, Eesti Pank
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