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Update 16.06.2018

The construction price index fell in 2016

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the construction price index fell 0.8% compared with the average of 2015.

Compared to 2015, labour costs increased by 1.2%, the cost of machines decreased by 1.1% and the cost of materials decreased by 1.8%.

In the 4th quarter of 2016 compared to the 3rd quarter, the change of the construction price index was 0.2%, and compared to the 4th quarter of 2015 the change was -0.5%. Compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, the index was mainly influenced by an increase in labour costs, which contributed more than half of the quarterly change. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2015, the construction price index was mainly influenced by the depreciation of building materials, which accounted for more than 75% of the total decrease.

The repair and reconstruction work price index decreased by 0.9% in 2016 compared to the average of 2015. Labour costs increased by 0.8%, the cost of machines decreased by 1.6% and the cost of building materials decreased by 2.1%.

The change of the repair and reconstruction work price index in the 4th quarter of 2016 was 0.3% compared to the 3rd quarter and -0.4% compared to the 4th quarter of 2015.

The calculation of the construction price index covers four groups of buildings: detached houses, apartment buildings, industrial buildings and office buildings. The repair and reconstruction work price index covers office buildings. The construction price index expresses the change in the cost of construction at the level of direct costs at a construction site. The resources taken into account in direct costs are divided into three main groups: labour force, building machines and building materials.

Change in the construction price index, 4th quarter 2016
3rd quarter 2016 – 4th quarter 2016, % 4th quarter 2015 – 4th quarter 2016, %
TOTAL 0.2 -0.5
labour force 0.3 0.3
building machines 0.4 0.0
building materials 0.1 -1.0
Index of detached houses 0.2 -0.1
Index of apartment buildings 0.2 -0.2
Index of industrial buildings 0.2 -0.5
Index of office buildings 0.1 -0.6
Change in the repair and reconstruction work price index, 4th quarter 2016
3rd quarter 2016 – 4th quarter 2016, % 4th quarter 2015 – 4th quarter 2016, %
TOTAL 0.3 -0.4
labour force 0.3 0.2
building machines 0.1 0.1
building materials 0.3 -0.9

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

Source: Statistics Estonia

The Estonian current account at 81 mEUR surplus in September

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 81 million euros in surplus in September 2016. The surplus on the goods and services account was 118 million euros, which was 70 million euros more than at the same time a year earlier. The growth of 10% in goods exports was notably faster than the 3% in imports, and this reduced the deficit on the goods account to 27 million euros. The surplus on the services account reached 145 million euros, with exports of services growing by a strong 7%, and imports doing likewise by 8%. Exports of services were brought down by transport services and boosted by travel services and other services, while imports of travel services were down and those of all other services were up. The net outflow on the primary and secondary income accounts totalled 37 million euros, which was 11 million euros more than at the same time a year earlier.

The sum total of the current and capital accounts was 100 million euros. This means that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, so the country as a whole invested more resources abroad than it received from there.

Eesti Pank publishes the flash estimate of the balance of payments monthly for the last month but one.

Eesti Pank will publish the balance of payments for the third quarter of 2016 on 9 December 2016.

1The 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.

See the graph on Bank of Estonia website

Foreign visitors spent 10 mEUR more in 3Q than a year ago

Estonian residents visited foreign countries a million times in the third quarter of 2016, which was about the same as in the third quarter of last year1. One visit in five was made outside the European Union. The number of visits by Estonian residents to Turkey was down by half, and the number to France and the United Kingdom was down 14%. The number of visits to Greece increased meanwhile by 21%, to Ukraine by 20%, to Bulgaria by 12%, and to Croatia by 11%. Same-day visits accounted for 15% of the total, and there were a few more such visits than in the third quarter of last year. The number of overnight visits was down 1% and their average length was 3% shorter at 3.9 days than in the same period of 2015. Estonian residents spent an estimated 200 million euros abroad in the third quarter.

There were more than two million visits to Estonia by foreign residents in the third quarter of 2016, which was 3% more than in the same quarter of 2015. More than 700,000 visits were made from Finland, accounting for one third of the total. More visits were made to Estonia from all of the neighbouring countries than in the same period a year before. There was also a rise in the number of visits from Spain and from the USA, with numbers from both places up by a tenth from a year before. Every second visitor to Estonia stayed overnight, and the average length of the stay was the same as a year earlier at 4.5 days. Tourists visiting Estonia spent an estimated total of 430 million euros.

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

The movement of travellers has a noticeable effect on the export and import of travel services in the Estonian balance of payments, which will be published on 9 December.

Source: Bank of Estonia

First Estonian-built 3D printer

EDM Machinery, a company which grew out of the University of Tartu, has launched the first 3D printer designed and built in Estonia.

The idea to produce 3D printers came to the company after staff became tired of repairing a 3D printer they had purchased.

“We now are aiming to produce a larger quantity of printers and visit different expos, from where we will find interested parties and new ideas,” CEO Kersti Vatter said, adding that they plan to continue improving the design and help the sector grow in the world.

The 2,500-euro 3D printer is aimed at more research and innovation intensive businesses. The printer comes with a 2-year guarantee.

Source: ERR News

EDM Machinery website for printers

Estonia purchases anti-tank missile systems

Estonian Minister of Defence Sven Mikser is to sign a contract on the purchase of Javelin anti-tank missile systems next Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of State approved sale of the Javelin anti-tank missile system to Estonia at the beginning of October. The value of the contract is 55 million dollars or around 43.3 million euros.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence told BNS on Friday that the exact amounts will become clear when the contract is signed.

Estonia has expressed a wish to buy 350 Javelin missiles and other equipment necessary for using the system as well as spare parts.

Mikser said Estonia’s strategic ally the United States understands that in the changed security situation Estonia must increase deterrence against a possible aggressor. “With new anti-tank missile systems we will increase the fighting efficiency of the defense forces,” he said at the beginning of October.

The government approved on Oct. 9 budget changes as a result of which the first payment for the Javelins can be made from this year’s budget.

At the beginning of June the government tasked the defense minister with entering into talks with the United States to purchase third-generation Javelin anti-tank missile systems and sign the contract if the conditions are acceptable.

The effective range of the so-called fire-and-forget missile is from 65 meters to 2.5 kilometers. The anti-tank missile system has been used by the armed forces of the United States and many other countries since mid-1990s.

Source: BNS via Estonian Review

Oleg Ossinovski is the richest man of Estonia

Transport tycoon Oleg Ossinovski has pulled further away from competitors for the label of the richest in the nation, despite losing over 10 million euros since the 2013 Äripäev annual list.

Hillar Teder, in real estate and the richest man in 2012, was again second, but continued to lose financial value, with the business daily valuing him at only 238.4 million euros, nearly 60 million less than a year ago, a 110 million drop since 2012. Ossinovski, father of Minister of Education Jevgeni Ossinovski, was valued at 286 million this year.

Both Teder and Ossinovski are heavily involved with business in the wider region, including Ukraine, although the conflict has had a greater effect on Teder, who has struggled to keep his real estate projects in Kyiv.

The rest of the top 10 for 2014 are:

Priit Piilmann – 183 (million euros), major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group (211 million euros in 2013)
Toomas Annus – 163, major shareholder of Merko real estate developer (143 million)
Armin Karu 153 – major shareholder of Olympic Entertainment Group (161 million)
Nerijus Numavicius 118 – owner of Maxima, continuing investing in Estonia (88 million)
Roman Stroykov 116 – Russian wholesale businessman (115)
Marcel Vichmann 114 – owner of Edelaraudtee and GoBus, among other businesses (117)
Fjodor Berman 112 – owner of BLRT Group (119)
Margus Kangro 108 – major shareholder in Viru Keemia Group (132)

Total value of the top 10 this year came to 1,591 million euros. That figure in 2013 was 1,708 million, according toÄripäev, which is responsible for the financial calculations.

Source: ERR