10 pct more tourists in November

According to Statistics Estonia, 236,000 domestic and foreign tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Estonia in November 2017, i.e. 10% more than in November 2016.

139,000 foreign tourists and 97,000 domestic tourists used the services of accommodation establishments. There were 7% more foreign tourists and 13% more domestic tourists staying in accommodation establishments than in November 2016. Tourist numbers from most of the European Union countries increased. There were also more tourists from Russia and Asian countries. The number of Finnish tourists, who accounted for 42% of the total number of foreign tourists in accommodation establishments, decreased by 7% compared to November 2016.

104,000 foreign tourists, i.e. 75% of the foreign tourists who used accommodation services, stayed in the accommodation establishments of Tallinn. The next most popular destinations were Pärnu and Tartu cities, where respectively 7% and 6% of the accommodated foreign tourists stayed. 5% of the foreign tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Ida-Viru county. 61% of foreign tourists were on a holiday, 30% on a business trip and the rest had some other reason for visiting Estonia.

41% of the customers of accommodation establishments were domestic tourists. 60% of them were on a holiday trip and 28% on a business trip. 28% of the accommodated domestic tourists stayed in Harju county, 15% in both Tartu county and Pärnu county and 11% in Ida-Viru county.

In November 2017, 968 accommodation establishments offered their services. 20,000 rooms and 46,000 bed places were available for tourists. 42% of the rooms and 31% of the bed places were occupied. The average cost of a guest night was 38 euros, which is two euros more than in November 2016. The average cost of a guest night was 46 euros in Harju county, 36 euros in Tartu county, 31 euros in Ida-Viru county and 26 euros in Pärnu county.

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The consumer price index increased 3.4 pct in 2017

According to Statistics Estonia, the consumer price index increased 3.4% in 2017 compared to the average of 2016.

The annual change of the consumer price index was affected the most by food and non-alcoholic beverages, which contributed nearly two-fifths of the total increase of the index. The biggest impact came from 10.4% more expensive milk, dairy products and eggs. Motor fuel, and alcoholic beverages and tobacco, each contributed almost a fifth of the total increase. Alcoholic beverages became 8.4% and tobacco 9.5% more expensive. The price increase of petrol was 12.8% and that of diesel fuel 14.7%.

In 2017, compared to the average of 2016, the biggest price increases among food products were seen for butter (33%), low-fat milk (19.9%) and potatoes (15.7%).

Change of consumer price index by commodity group, 2017
Commodity group 2016–2017, %
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 5.7
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 8.7
Clothing and footwear 1.7
Housing 2.1
Household goods 0.6
Health 1.1
Transport 5.0
Communications -4.1
Recreation and culture 0.7
Education 1.9
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 5.9
Miscellaneous goods and services 3.0

For the statistical activity “Consumer price index”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Finance, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The population of Estonia increased last year

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary estimate of the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2018 was 1,318,700, which is 3,070 persons more than at the same time a year ago.

The population decreased by 1,960 due to negative natural increase (the number of deaths exceeded the number of births) and increased by 5,030 due to positive net migration (more persons immigrated to Estonia than emigrated). In total, the population of Estonia increased by 0.2% in 2017. Net migration has been positive in Estonia for three years in a row.

More than 13,520 children were born in Estonia in 2017. The number of births decreased by nearly 400 compared to a year ago. Considering that the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing, it shows that the number of births per woman has not decreased considerably.

There were 15,480 deaths in 2017. The number of deaths has been relatively level in this decade, varying by +/-300. The share of older people increases in the population as life expectancy continues to increase.

10,470 persons immigrated to Estonia and 5,440 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2017. Migration statistics are most difficult to estimate based on preliminary data, as Statistics Estonia supplements migration figures with data from other registers, and later adds also unregistered migration according to the methodology of calculating population based on residency index. Reaching the final result is more complicated compared to other events, both technically and methodologically, and can significantly increase migration flows. Emigration increases mainly due to unregistered leaving of Estonian citizens. Immigration increases mainly due to their return migration, which is not recorded in the population register, as the prior leaving was not registered. Compared to immigration, emigration is less registered, and therefore, emigration increases presumably more than immigration in the revised population number – it can be assumed that net migration is somewhat smaller in the results published in May.Population change, 2000–2017

The preliminary population published by Statistics Estonia is based on changes of residence in the population register in 2017 – persons whose residence was not Estonia at the previous year‑end but was so at this year-end are considered immigrants, and persons whose residence was Estonia at the previous year-end but not at this year-end are considered emigrants.

The initial population number is based on initial data on births, deaths and migration. A thorough review of the residency index is HERE.

Statistics Estonia will publish the revised population number with revised demographic events (migration, births and deaths) on 9 May.

For the statistical activity “Population”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Exports of goods increased by 8 and imports by 9 pct in November

According to Statistics Estonia, in November 2017 compared to November 2016, the exports of goods increased by 8% and imports by 9%. The growth in exports and imports was broad-based, a small increase occurred in most commodity sections.

In November 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.2 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.3 billion euros. The trade deficit was 111 million euros (in November 2016, it was 94 million euros).

In November 2017, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (12%) and Latvia (10%). The biggest increase occurred in exports to Latvia (up by 27 million euros), Saudi Arabia (up by 23 million euros) and the United States (up by 16 million euros). In exports to Latvia, the exports of mineral products (fuel additives, electricity) and transport equipment (motor cars) increased. There was also an increase in the exports of agricultural products (barley) to Saudi Arabia and in the exports of electrical equipment (communication equipment) to the United States. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 50 million euros), where less electrical equipment was delivered.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by agricultural products and food preparations, and wood and articles of wood. The greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (up by 17 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 16 million euros), and wood and articles of wood (up by 15 million euros). The exports of electrical equipment decreased (down by 17 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 73% in November 2017. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew 8% and re-exports 9%. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew the most in the commodity sections of mineral fuels, cereals, and wood and articles of wood. Among the main destination countries, the exports of goods of Estonian origin had the highest share (above 90%) in exports to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

The main countries of consignment in November 2017 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Lithuania (9%), Latvia (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Sweden (up by 25 million euros), Poland (up by 21 million euros) and Finland (up by 16 million euros). Transport equipment (motor cars) was imported the most from Sweden, raw materials and products of chemical industry (medicaments) from Poland and mineral products (electricity) from Finland. Imports from Hungary decreased the most (down by 5 million euros), with less electrical equipment imported.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest increase was in the imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by 31 million euros), transport equipment (up by 28 million euros) and mechanical appliances (up by 15 million euros).

In November 2017, the foreign trade export volume index increased by 4% and the import volume index by 20% compared to the same period of 2016.Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2015–2017

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Ending the use of code cards will make bank transactions more secure

Eesti Pank, the Estonian Banking Association, businesses and consumer protection authorities decided at the Estonian Payment Forum that it would be wise to encourage bank clients to use more modern and more secure methods of authentication rather than code cards. Some 300,000 bank clients in Estonia use code cards regularly to identify themselves.

The need to review authentication for Estonian bank clients come from the European Union directive on payment services and related legislation, which is intended to increase security and promote innovation. Estonia transposed the changes in the directive in November and added to the list of payment services the two new services of provision of account information and payment initiation. The European Union implementing regulation that will affect authentication services is expected to come into force from September 2019.

The changes will create an environment where the new payment services will let clients manage their payment accounts in different banks, view their account information, and pay for online purchases or make personal transfers securely using just one mobile app. To use such services clients will need to identify themselves using at least two separate security steps. Code cards are not appropriate for this as they are not secure enough.

The Estonian Payment Forum was founded in 2011 by Eesti Pank, the Ministry of Finance and the Estonian Banking Association. The forum aims to support development of the Estonian payment environment and to present the strategic decisions related to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) of the European Union to all market participants.

Source: Bank of Estonia