Estonian GDP increased by 1.3 pct in the 3rd quarter

According to the second estimates of Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia increased 1.3% in the 3rd quarter of 2016 compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year. The biggest contribution to GDP growth was made in the economic activity of transportation, followed by trade and the energy sector.

In the 3rd quarter, the GDP at current prices was 5.2 billion euros. The seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP increased by 0.2% in the 3rd quarter compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016 and by 1.3% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2015.

According to second estimates, in the 3rd quarter of 2016, Estonian GDP growth was influenced the most by the value added generated in the economic activity of transportation. In addition, a significant contribution to GDP growth was made in trade and energy activities. Among trade activities, the value added generated in retail trade increased the most, and wholesale trade increased as well. Although the energy sector experienced a fall in the manufacture of gas, the production of the remaining types of energy rose.

In the 3rd quarter of 2016, GDP growth was inhibited the most by agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, and real estate activities. Although the value added of real estate activities increased at current prices, an increase in prices in this economic activity resulted in a decrease in the value added at constant prices.

Similarly to the previous quarter, the value added of manufacturing (the biggest economic activity in the Estonian economy) had a positive impact on GDP. The manufacture of motor vehicles and electrical equipment had the greatest positive impact. The manufacture of electronic equipment, mineral products, and food products and beverages experienced the greatest fall.

The export of goods and services rose by 5.6% at real prices, mainly due to an increase in the export of electronic products and electrical equipment. The import of goods and services increased by 4.1% at real prices compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year. The import of goods and services increased the most due to a growth in the import of motor vehicles and chemicals. In the 3rd quarter of 2016, net export amounted 6.9% of GDP, being the highest share in the last 20 quarters.

In the 3rd quarter of 2016, employment fell after having increased for the last 9 quarters, and the number of hours worked remained on the level of the previous year. Productivity of the total economy rose both per person employed and per hour worked. Compensation per employee grew faster than productivity and unit labour costs increased 5.3% compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year.

Domestic demand fell. Although, at real prices, final consumption expenditures increased, inventories and gross fixed capital formation decreased. In the 3rd quarter of 2016, gross fixed capital formation fell by 8.4% at real prices. The investments of non-financial enterprises as well as the investments of the government sector decreased.

Household final consumption expenditure increased by 3.9%, manly due to a  growth in expenditures on food, transportation and recreation.

Diagram: Real growth of GDP and of domestic demand, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, 1st quarter 2010 – 3rd quarter 2016

Source: Statistics Estonia

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