Tallinn Old Town Days program May 31- June 4, 2017

This year’s Old Town Days’ leading principle is „Young Old Town.“

The year 2017 has been named The Year of Children’s and Youth Culture by the Estonian Ministry of Culture. Based on that conception we would like to put the focus on young, cheerful, forward-looking, innovative and fresh mind and will try to create the most exciting, interesting and entertaining program for the whole period of five days.

Slogans of each day:

31st of May – opening day
1st of June – If all the power in the world would be given in the hands of children…
2nd of June – Take some time to look around
3rd of June – What’s the colour of love
4th of June – At the end of one path another one begins…

„Versatility“ will be the keyword for the program of Tallinn Old Town Days. There will be different musicians performing folklore, jazz and pop music on several stages, many theatrical performances, handicraft and art fairs taking place, complete program of exhibitions, tours and art projects  from museums and lots of joyous people taking part of the festival.

The program is available at www.vanalinnapaevad.ee.

Record amount of fish and crayfish sold last year

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, aquaculture enterprises sold 868 tonnes of commercial fish and crayfish, with a total value of 3.7 million euros. The volume of aquaculture production sold in 2016 was among the highest in 20 years.

While in 2014, a record amount (869 tonnes) of commercial fish and crayfish was sold, the volume of production sold in 2016 was only 0.1% smaller. The main increase in the fish and crayfish production has occurred in the past five years: compared to 2012, the volume of aquaculture production sold has increased 1.5 times.
In Estonia, rainbow trout accounts for the biggest share in the aquaculture production sold and the share has increased year by year. While in 2015, the share of rainbow trout in the total fish and crayfish production was 70%, in 2016 it was 78%. In 2016, the amount of rainbow trout sold was 680 tonnes, with a total value of 2.6 million euros – this is also the highest quantity sold in 20 years.

The monetary value of the European crayfish production increased nearly 1.2 times compared to 2015. In 2016, the European crayfish was sold in the amount of 0.7 tonnes, which is 1.1 times more than in 2015.

In addition to the rainbow trout and the European crayfish, other fish species are farmed and sold (perch, the Arctic char, the European eel, the African sharptooth catfish, common carp, silver carp, wels catfish, sturgeons (the Siberian and Russian sturgeons) and grass carp).

The amount of fish roe for consumption sold in 2016 totalled 4.9 tonnes, which is approximately 1.5 times less than in 2015. Also the monetary value of production decreased 1.5 times. In 2016, the value of fish roe for consumption sold totalled 127,800 euros, while in 2015, it was 197,000 euros.

In 2016, of the total production of commercial fish and crayfish, 9% was exported – 2 percentage points more than in 2015. Mainly the European eel and to a lesser extent sturgeons, perch, rainbow trout and the European crayfish were exported.

Statistics Estonia collects aquaculture data by surveying all enterprises with the principal or secondary activity of aquaculture. The frame of the surveyed enterprises has been compiled based on the register of enterprises recognised by the Estonian Fish Farmers Association and the Veterinary and Food Board, and on the data of the Statistical Profile. For the statistical activity “Aquaculture”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The average income per employee was 1,073 euros

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the average monthly gross income per employee was 1,073 euros. The growth of gross income continued at the same rate as in previous years (6%), however, the number of people receiving income started to decrease for the first time since the years of the economic crisis.

In counties, the average monthly gross income per employee was mainly in the range 900–1,200 euros. It exceeded 1,000 euros in Harju, Tartu, Hiiu and Rapla county; only in Ida-Viru county, the monthly gross income was below 900 euros.

The average monthly gross income varied greatly among local government units. There was a two-fold difference between the local government unit with the highest and the lowest gross monthly income. The highest monthly gross income per employee was earned in the rural municipalities of Harju county, led by Viimsi rural municipality (1,505 euros). At the other end were the Tartu county rural municipalities of Piirissaare and Peipsiääre and the city of Kallaste, where the gross income was below 800 euros per month.Average monthly gross income per employee, 2016

The number of persons receiving gross income was slightly below 520,000, and it decreased by almost 350 persons compared to 2015. The main reason behind the decline in the number of income recipients is the fact that the number of young people (aged under 25) has continuously decreased in recent years. Before the financial crisis, the number of young income recipients was close to 64,000; in 2016, it was 34,000. Also in the age group 50–62, the number of income recipients decreased by 700 persons. The number of income recipients grew among the population aged 25–49 and 63 and over, but less than in the previous years.

Gross income recipients, 2003–2016

The number of income recipients decreased in most counties, with the exception of a small increase in Harju, Tartu and Saare counties. The decrease in the number of young employees was also prevalent in counties, especially in Ida-Viru and Järva counties, where the number of income recipients under 25 years of age fell by 10% compared to 2015.

Over a half (53%) of income recipients were women and their average monthly gross income was 948 euros. The average monthly gross income of men was 1,214 euros. As the dataset does not enable distinguishing between full-time and part-time employees and analysing by economic activities, the reasons for the difference in men’s and women’s monthly gross wages do not appear from the data.

The analysis is based on the data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board as at 26 April 2017. The average monthly gross income per employee is calculated by dividing the average monthly sum of payments with the average number of persons receiving payments. In Estonia, the main representative of public interest for the survey is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

3.5 million museum visits in 2016

Museums continue to be popular in Estonia. According to Statistics Estonia, there were 3.5 million museum visits in 2016, which is 6% more than the year before.

The share of foreign tourists visiting museums has remained at the same level in recent years. Foreign tourists accounted for 36% of all museum visits in 2016. The share of foreign tourists was the biggest in Harju county, reaching 49%. Estonian inhabitants made 2.2 million museum visits, which is approximately two visits per person.

As it is the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture, we took a closer look at younger age groups’ relationship to museums. Children under 9 years of age visited museums 277,000 times, which is 18% more than in 2015. The number of educational programs organised by museums has also been growing for years, and almost 450,000 young people under the age of 19 participated in these in 2016.

While in total special museums were visited the most, followed by art museums and archaeology and history museums with slightly smaller visitor numbers, the clear preference of museum visitors under 9 years of age was special museums, followed by natural history museums and science and technology museums.

According to the 2015 cultural participation survey, the presence of children in the household has a positive impact on museum visits. While 45% of all Estonian inhabitants had visited a museum at least once, among the households with at least one child up to 15 years of age, 55% had visited a museum, and among people living in households without children, 41% visited a museum in 2015.

There were 246 museums in Estonia in 2016 – one third belonged to the state, one third to local governments and one third were private museums. On average, museums were open 226 days a year. 1,988 people were employed in museums.

Last year, one of the biggest events in the museum field was certainly the opening of the new building of the Estonian National Museum. As the new exhibition building in Tartu was open to visitors only three months last year, the 2016 data do not yet show considerable growth in museum visits in Tartu county.

It has become a tradition that once a year as part of the European Night of Museums many museums are open longer than usual and free events are organised for a wider audience. This year, the Night of Museums will take place on Saturday, 20 May and fittingly for the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture this year’s theme is “Games in the Night”. See more at http://www.muuseumiöö.ee/en.Museum visits by type of museum, 2016

Source: Statistics Estonia

Last year the carriage of passengers and goods declined

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the number of passengers served by Estonian transport enterprises decreased by 3% and the freight volume in tonnes decreased by 1% compared to the previous year. The number of passengers increased in sea and rail transport, but decreased in road and air transport. Carriage of goods increased in road transport, but decreased in rail transport.

In 2016, the number of passengers carried by Estonian road, sea, rail and air transport enterprises amounted to 207.5 million with the majority (92%) carried by road. In 2016, the passenger traffic volume of transport enterprises was 5.4 billion passenger-kilometres, and it decreased by 12% compared to the previous year.

The amount of passengers in road transport decreased by 4% compared to 2015. There were 190.9 million passengers in total and 86% of them, i.e. about 165.0 million passengers, used urban transport (incl. trams and trolleybuses). 2% less passengers used urban transport compared to the previous year. The number of passengers on county lines was about 15.7 million (9% less compared to 2015), and on domestic long-distance lines it was 4.2 million (down by 2%). 1.2 million passengers were carried on international lines (down by 13%). In 2016, the passenger traffic volume of road transport was around 3 billion passenger-kilometres and it decreased in both domestic and international traffic, by 12% and 3%, respectively.

In 2016, Estonian sea transport enterprises carried 9.1 million passengers, which is 5% more than in 2015. The number of passengers carried was 2.3 million (up by 1%) in domestic sea traffic and 6.8 million (up by 7%) in international sea traffic. The passenger traffic volume of sea transport enterprises increased by 4%, and was nearly 1.2 billion passenger-kilometres in 2016. International sea traffic contributed 97% of passenger traffic volume.

Last year 6.9 million passengers were carried by rail, which is 4% more than in 2015. 6.8 million passengers were carried in domestic rail traffic (up by 3%) and 102,800 passengers were carried in international rail traffic (up by about two-fold). The passenger traffic volume of rail transport enterprises increased by 11% year over year, totalling 315.9 million passenger-kilometres.

In 2016, Estonian air transport enterprises carried 569,500 passengers. This is 15% less than in 2015. 9,500 passengers were carried in domestic air traffic (down by a half) and 560,000 passengers were carried in international air traffic (down by 14%). The passenger traffic volume of air transport enterprises decreased by 35% and was around 1 billion passenger-kilometres.In 2016, Estonian road, rail, sea and air transport enterprises carried 65.4 million tonnes of goods, of which nearly 59% was carried by road and 39% by rail.

Freight turnover of Estonian transport enterprises totalled nearly 11.6 billion tonne-kilometres in 2016. Freight turnover increased by 1% compared to 2015.

Road transport companies carried 38.8 million tonnes of goods in 2016, which is 6% more than in 2015. In domestic road traffic, 31.1 million tonnes of goods were transported (up by 17%) and 7.7 million tonnes in international traffic (down by 25%). Freight turnover of road transport enterprises increased by 11% compared to 2015, and totalled 8.9 billion tonne-kilometres.

In 2016, the amount of goods carried by rail was 10% smaller than the year before, amounting to 25.4 million tonnes. 15.7 million tonnes of goods were transported in domestic rail traffic (up by 5%) and 9.6 million tonnes in international traffic (down by 26%). Compared to 2015, freight turnover of rail transport decreased by 25% and amounted to 2.3 billion tonne-kilometres. Of rail freight transport, 8.0 million tonnes were goods in transit, exports amounted to 0.2 million tonnes and imports to 1.4 million tonnes. Carriage of goods in transit by rail decreased by 29%, mainly due to a decrease of over 3.5 million tonnes in the transport of liquid refined petroleum products (2.2 million tonnes were carried in 2016). Goods in transit that experienced the highest growth were nitrogen compounds and fertilizers (excl. natural fertilizers) – these were carried in 2016 in the amount of 4.4 million tonnes, i.e. 14% more than in 2015.

The data of Estonian transport enterprises are collected and published according to the enterprise’s main economic activity. The enterprise’s main economic activity is determined based on the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK (NACE Rev. 2)): land transport (rail and road), water transport and air transport.

Road transport of passengers includes bus, trolleybus and tram transport. Urban transport includes passenger transport by buses, trams and trolleybuses.

Passenger traffic volume is the volume of work done in the transport of passengers. It is measured in passenger-kilometres (pkm). One passenger-kilometre is the transport of one person across a distance of one kilometre.

Freight turnover is the volume of work done in the transport of goods. It is measured in tonne-kilometres (tkm). One tonne-kilometre is the transport of one tonne of goods across a distance of one kilometre.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Inflation in Estonia this year is due to energy prices and rises in excise

  • Inflation passed 3% in April
  • Prices for commodities have shown signs of rising more slowly on world markets in recent months

Consumer price growth accelerated to 3.2% in April in the data from Statistics Estonia. Energy prices rose 6.8% over the year, food products including alcohol and tobacco were up 4.8%, and core inflation1 reached 1.4%.

Prices for commodities have shown some signs of rising more slowly on world markets in recent months. The price of a barrel of crude oil remained close to 53 dollars in March and April, but it started to fall at the end of April. This was because of increased oil production in the USA and weak demand in Asian countries. The oil producing countries of OPEC are considering a cut in their output of oil, and will probably not let prices fall very low. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations showed lower prices for food commodities on world markets for the second month in a row. Prices fell by quite a long way in March and April, down 4.3% in total. Current food prices will have a notable effect on inflation numbers next year, as consumer prices reflect changes with a time lag.

Inflation in Estonia this year is mainly being affected by energy prices and rises in excise. In July, alcohol excise will rise again, with excise on beer rising by 70%. Rises in excise will add around 0.2-0.3 percentage point to inflation. Core inflation, which is the rise in prices of services and manufactured goods, will continue to rise gradually in the second half of the year. Core inflation is affected by both import prices and faster economic growth.

The December economic forecast last year expected inflation to rise to close to 3% in 2017, and so far it has been in line with that forecast. Eesti Pank will publish a new inflation forecast in June.

1 Core inflation covers manufactured goods and services and excludes the volatile prices of energy and food, and it covers 57% of the consumer basket.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Sulev Pert, Economist at Eesti Pank

More Russian tourists visit Estonia

There were more than one million visits to Estonia by foreign residents in the first quarter of 2017, which was 6% more than in the same quarter of 2016. The biggest increase was in the number of tourists from Russia, who made 22,000 more visits to Estonia than a year before. The number of visitors from Russia who stayed overnight was up 14%. They accounted for one fifth of the total number of overnight visits, which is the largest share for three years.

The number of European Union residents visiting Estonia was up by 5%. There were slightly more visitors from Finland than a year earlier and they accounted for 40% of the total. Visitor numbers from each of the United Kingdom, France, Latvia and China were up by more than one tenth, while there were 10% fewer visitors from each of Norway, South Korea and Belarus.

A little over half, or more precisely 54%, of visitors to Estonia stayed overnight, and their stay on average was the same length as a year earlier at 4.2 days. It is estimated that overnight visitors spent a total of 150 million euros in Estonia, and same-day visitors spent 50 million euros. Both of these figures were up 5%.

In the first quarter of 2017, residents of Estonia made some 840,000 visits to foreign countries, which was 4% more than a year earlier1. There were 5% more overnight visits, and their average length was 3.7 days. Same-day trips accounted for 14% of the total, and they did not change in number over the year.

As usual, residents of Estonia visited Finland the most, making 160,000 visits there, a number that has not changed over the year.

One visit in five was made outside the European Union. Having fallen for several years, the number of visits by Estonian residents to Egypt rose by one third. The number of trips to Thailand, another popular holiday destination, was up 14%. More visits were made than last year to Ukraine, Bulgaria and Spain, but there were 7% fewer trips to Norway and 12% fewer to Russia.

Visitors from Estonia to foreign countries spent an estimated total of 155 million euros.

1 The number of trips abroad and the number of visits abroad are not the same, as one trip abroad may include visits to several different countries.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Estonia’s activity in foreign markets increased in March

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 37 million euros in deficit in March 2017. All the components of the current account were up on the previous March, especially exports and imports of goods and services. The surplus on the goods and services account was 5 million euros, which was 10 million euros less than a year earlier. The growth in the trade of goods was notable, as goods exports increased by 10% and imports by 12%, meaning the deficit on the goods account widened by 15 million euros to 90 million euros. The surplus on the services account was 96 million euros, which was 10 million euros more than a year earlier. Exports of services increased by 12% and imports by 13%. The net outflow on the primary and secondary income accounts was at the same level as a year before and totalled 42 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in deficit by a total of 20 million euros in March, meaning Estonia was a net borrower from the rest of the world.

Read more from Bank of Estonia website

Labour force participation rate 70 pct in 1stQ

Labour market performed better than expected in the first quarter. The labour force participation rate, i.e., the proportion of persons of working-age who are either employed or unemployed, reached a record level of 70.2%, considering seasonal factors. Employment substantially increased and the unemployment rate decreased further.

The number of employed increased by 2.7%, over the year, mostly in trade, and in Tallinn, as several new shopping centres were opened. Increased economic activity lifts employment this year. Manufacturing and service companies expect higher sales and plan to increase the number of employees during next three months.

The unemployment rate decreased to 5.6% in the first quarter (6.5% in the first quarter of 2016). The registered unemployment rate of 5.0% was at the same level as one year ago. Strong demand for labour supressed the number of unemployed, even when the work ability reform moved large groups of people from inactivity into the unemployed. Nevertheless, in April, the number of registered unemployed grew again, so there is no clear trend.

The number of inactive decreased by 5.7% as less people were away from the labour market due to studies, bad health or raising children. The participation rate is on the rise due to a tight labour market, the work ability reform motivating people with disabilities to look for a job, and, a smaller number of people aged 15-24.

First quarter data shows that the labour market remained tight. The amount of labour available in the market has decreased, while the rate of job vacancies has jumped. The rate of job vacancies, i.e. the share of job vacancies in the total number of jobs, was 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016. A shrinking working-age population reduces the amount of existing work force as well. The number of people aged 15-74 decreased by 6,000 only in 2016. Therefore, wage pressures are expected to persist.


Source: Swedbank

Estonia is among largest net beneficiaries from FDI in the EU

Can FDI boost enterprises’ investments into fixed assets? 

Although there is no one-to-one link between FDI and investments into fixed assets, long-term comparison shows that there is evidence of correlation between these indicators, especially in manufacturing sector where the need for fixed assets is greater. Inflow of FDI has been gaining speed for the past two years and industrial confidence is improving. This suggests that we could start to see more investments into fixed assets soon.

Structure of Estonian FDI by sectors 

Financial and insurance activities, that used to make up 50% of FDI back in 2005, are giving way to other sectors. The importance of manufacturing sector as receiver of FDI is also decreasing because of structural changes in the economy. Currently real estate activities make up more than 18% of FDI, more than during the previous real estate boom in 2007. Although the growth of FDI in professional, scientific and technical activities has recently been lagging it is important for the future.

FDI diversification by country has increased 

Sweden has been a major contributor to our FDI from the beginning of independence, and it still is today, although the importance of Sweden is continuously decreasing. After the start of the conflict in Ukraine the FDI market share of Russia is also decreasing whereas other smaller countries, such as neighboring Latvia and Lithuania, invest more in Estonian companies year by year. Nevertheless more than 80% of inward FDI in Estonia originates from the EU.

Source: Swedbank