Sales grew in online stores by 33 pct

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2017, compared to May 2016, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased 1% at constant prices. For the second month in succession, turnover has shown a stable one-percent growth compared to the same month of the previous year.

In May 2017, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was 586.3 million euros.

The turnover of stores selling manufactured goods increased 5% compared to May 2016. Turnover increased in four and decreased in three economic activities. Turnover increased the most in stores selling via mail order or the Internet, with sales increasing 33% in a year. Turnover increased also in other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, flowers, plants etc.(19% growth), in stores selling second-hand goods and in non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) (3% growth) and in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (2% growth). Compared to May of the previous year, turnover decreased in non-specialized stores selling predominantly manufactured goods (e.g. department stores), in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear and in stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics.

The turnover of grocery stores decreased 1% compared to May 2016. The turnover fall in these stores was partly influenced by the acceleration in the price increase of food products.

The turnover of enterprises engaging in the retail sale of automotive fuel decreased 1% compared to May of the previous year.

Compared to the previous month, in May, the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased 9%. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, turnover stayed at the same level compared to the previous month. In the five months of 2017 (January–May), the turnover of retail trade enterprises increased 2% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Turnover volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

The statistics are based on the VAT declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary in four working days. For the statistical activity “Economic indicators of trade enterprises”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia performs this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia


The current account was close to balance in April 2017

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 9 million euros in deficit in April 2017. The surplus on the goods and services account was 21 million euros, which was 16 million euros less than a year earlier. Goods exports were down by 3% over the year and imports by 1%, meaning the deficit on the goods account widened by 22 million euros to 109 million euros. One cause of the decline in foreign trade in April 2017 was that there were two fewer working days than in the previous April. The surplus on the services account was 130 million euros, which was 6 million euros more than at the same time a year earlier. Services exports grew by 8% and imports by 9%. The net outflow on the primary and secondary income accounts increased by 10 million euros to 30 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of 5 million euros in April, meaning Estonia was again a net lender to the rest of the world.

The quarterly balance of payments is compiled from a combined system of representative primary data sources, including surveys of companies, while the monthly balance of payments draws from a considerably smaller database. Although the monthly report uses as much data available for the month reported as possible, including administrative data sources and reports on international payments, it is subjective to a certain degree, which is why it is called an estimate. Once the quarterly balance of payments is released, the monthly balances of payments are adjusted accordingly.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Household borrowing grows strongly

  • Corporate loan and leasing portfolio grew 6.3% year on year, comparable to the previous months
  • The number of new housing loan agreements signed in May was 12% up from last year
  • Both corporate and household deposits continued to show a strong growth

Corporate and household borrowing from the banks and leasing companies operating in Estonia increased in May 6.3% year on year, in line with the previous months. While y-o-y growth in the corporate loan and lease portfolio slowed slightly relative to the previous months, housing loans were gathering pace. The total loan and leasing portfolio increased in the month by EUR 90 million to EUR 17.5 bn.

The corporate loan and leasing portfolio increased in May by 6.3% year on year. The fastest rise was recorded for companies in the trade, agriculture and transport and warehousing sectors. New long-term loans were issued to companies in the value of EUR 237 million, 7% up from last year’s figure. Manufacturing companies have taken more long-term loans in the recent months than a year ago.

The y-o-y growth in the housing loan portfolio increased to 6.1% in May. The number of housing loan agreements signed was 12% up from last year’s figure, while the average loan amount grew by 4%. Similarly to previous months, household car leasing went up in May, gaining 14% on a year earlier. The demand for loans and leases is backed by a relatively rapid growth in household income and low interest rates.

The average interest rate on housing loans has not changed in the past months. Since February, the average interest rate for new housing loans has stood steady at 2.3%. The average interest rate for corporate loans was 2.4% in May, also in line with the average figure for recent months.

Deposit growth was picking up and continues to outpace the growth of the loan and lease portfolio. Corporate deposits grew in May by 15% compared to a year earlier. Household deposits have similarly shown a strong growth, increasing in May by nearly 9% year on year. By contrast, non-resident deposits have shrunk significantly in recent months and stood at EUR 1.5 bn as of the end of May, representing 11% of the total deposit stock.

Author:, Mari Tamm, Economist at Eesti Pank
Source: Bank of Estonia