The economy continued to grow in the 3rd quarter

news release no 125

According to Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia increased 4.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2017 compared to the 3rd quarter of the previous year.

In the 3rd quarter, the GDP at current prices was 5.8 billion euros. The seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP stayed at the same level compared to the 2nd quarter of 2017 (growth 0.3%) but grew by 4.2% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016.

As in the previous quarter, the biggest contributor to GDP growth was construction, which grew rapidly for the third consecutive quarter. Other main contributors to GDP growth were information and communication, mining and quarrying, professional, scientific and technical activities, manufacturing, transportation and storage and administrative and support service activities, which have previously shown rapid growth. The biggest increase in value added continued to occur in mining and quarrying.

The main hindrance to economic growth was energy due to a fall in its value added. Although the value added of energy grew at current prices, an increase in prices in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply had a negative impact in real terms. Also trade, real estate activities and other unspecified service activities and financial intermediation had a negative impact in real terms.

Although net taxes on products increased at currents prices, the GDP growth was slowed down by the net taxes on products at real prices. The VAT receipts increased but excise tax receipts declined compared to the same period of the previous year.

The exports of goods and services in the 3rd quarter of 2017 stayed at the level of the 3rd quarter of 2016 in real terms. The imports of goods and services increased 4.2%. The main positive contributors to imports were basic metals, motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers and other machinery and equipment. The biggest negative contributors to foreign trade were the exports and imports of electronic equipment.

Net exports were roughly 300 million euros, which is 5.2% of the GDP.

In the 3rd quarter of 2017, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2016, the number of persons employed and the number of hours worked grew at a similar rate, but still more slowly than the GDP, and, therefore, real labour productivity per person employed and per hour worked grew 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively. As labour costs grew faster than real labour productivity per person employed, the nominal unit labour cost reached 4.8%.

Domestic demand grew by 7% as all of its components strengthened. The growth in domestic demand was driven by gross fixed capital formation. Although the acquisition of fixed assets in the non-financial enterprises sector fell, also sales of fixed assets decreased significantly, and, thereby, the gross fixed capital formation in the 3rd quarter increased by 13.2% in real terms. Investments increased in all the sectors, but the main contributors to the growth were the investments into buildings and facilities by the government sector and into machinery and equipment by non-financial enterprises.

The final consumption expenditures of households grew by 3.5%. Here, the expenditures on clothing and catering services had the biggest positive impact, and the biggest negative impact came from the expenditures on alcohol and tobacco.

Contribution to GDP growth by economic activity, 3rd quarter 2017

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:

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

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.