Economy decreased in the 1st quarter

news release no 56

According to the flash estimates of Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia decreased 1.9% in the 1st quarter of 2014 compared to the 1st quarter of 2013.

The previous time that the GDP fell was in the 1st quarter of 2010. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2013, the seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP decreased by 1.2%.

The increase in the value added of the main contributors to the Estonian economy either slowed down or their value added declined. According to preliminary calculations, in the 1st quarter of 2014, a decrease in the value added in transport, real estate activities and energy slowed the GDP growth down the most. The main reason for the deceleration in real estate is an accelerated rise in prices. The decrease in the value added in energy is mainly caused by the warm winter and by the partial replacement of own production with imported electricity.

The growth of manufacturing, which is the main contributor to economic growth in Estonia, slowed down mainly due to a decrease in the manufacture of electronic and chemical products. However, the manufacture of wood gave the largest positive contribution.  In the 1st quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter of the previous year, due to weak external demand, there was a decrease in the exports of both manufacturing and the total economy. Real export of goods decreased for the third quarter in a row compared to the same quarter of the previous year. At the same time, after a decline in the previous two quarters, the import of goods was on the rise again.*

Real growth of GDP, export and import of goods,
1st quarter 2012 – 1st quarter 2014

Diagram: Real growth of GDP, export and import of goods

The flash estimate is calculated only by production method using the information from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and data derived from the monthly statistical surveys.  Therefore, the estimate may differ from the revised estimates of the GDP, which are calculated by expenditure, production and income method using quarterly data. The revised estimates for the 1st quarter of 2014 will be published by Statistics Estonia on 9 June 2014.

*In National Accounts, export and import of fuels imported for processing are corrected.

For further information:

Annika Laarmaa
Leading Statistician-Methodologist
Economic and Environmental Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9353