Economic growth further accelerated in the 2nd quarter

news release no 93

According to Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia increased 5.7% in the 2nd quarter of 2017 compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016.

In the 2nd quarter, the GDP at current prices was 5.8 billion euros. The seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP grew by 1.3% compared to the 1st quarter of 2017 and by 5.2% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016.

The biggest contributor to GDP growth was construction, which was one of the fastest growing economic activities for the second quarter in a row. Other main contributors to GDP growth were professional, scientific and technical activities, transportation and storage, information and communication, and energy. While energy grew for the first time in several quarters, the other activities mentioned have been important contributors for longer. The steady growth in whole sale and retail trade, which is one of the largest economic activities, also supported economic growth. The fastest growth in value added took place in mining and quarrying.

The main hindrance to economic growth was agriculture, forestry and fishing due to a fall in its value added caused by a fast price increase of agricultural production. Although the value added in all economic activities grew at current prices, public administration and defence and compulsory social security, accommodation and food service, and other service activities had a negative impact in real terms.

Manufacturing, the largest economic activity, had a positive impact on the GDP. The main reason for that was the growth of value added in the manufacturing of metal products, food and beverages, and machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified. The biggest negative impact on the growth of manufacturing came from the manufacturing of mineral products and electronic equipment.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the exports of goods and services grew 1.3% in real terms. Similarly to exports, the imports of goods and services grew slower than previously as well – by 2.2%. The main positive contributors to exports were other machinery and equipment and wood and wooden products. The main impact on the growth of imports came from various transportation equipment. The biggest negative impact on foreign trade came from computers, electronic and optical products.

Net exports in the 2nd quarter were approximately 200 million euros, which is 3.4% of the GDP.

As the number of persons employed and the number of hours worked did not change significantly in the 2nd quarter, productivity per employed person and per hour worked grew at a similar rate as the GDP. The increase in labour costs accelerated to 9%. Although the growth of the nominal unit labour cost was slower than that of the GDP, it reached 3.7%.

Domestic demand grew by 3.1% as all of its components strengthened. The growth in domestic demand was driven by gross fixed capital formation, which grew by 18.2% in real terms in the 2nd quarter. The main contributors to the growth were investments in transportation equipment and buildings and infrastructure by non-financial enterprises and the government sector.

The final consumption expenditures of households grew by 2%. A significant impact here came from the growth of expenditures on transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages and accommodation. The biggest negative impact came from lower expenditures on alcohol and tobacco.

Contribution to the GDP growth by economic activity, 2nd quarter 2017

As part of an annual regular revision, Statistics Estonia revised the national accounts data for 2013–2016 based on supply and use tables and annual reports of enterprises. The revised estimates for the 1st quarter of 2017 were also published.

Additional information about national accounts revisions in 2017 is available here.

For the statistical activity “National accounts”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Finance, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia performs this statistical activity.

For further information:

Robert Müürsepp
Senior Analyst
Economic and Environmental Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9138

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.