Economic growth accelerated in the 3rd quarter

news release no 123
The news release was corrected on 30.11.2018. Please consider the figure marked in red as correct.

According to Statistics Estonia, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia grew by 4.2% in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the third quarter of 2018, the Estonian GDP was 6.5 billion euros at current prices.

Seasonally and working day adjusted GDP increased by 0.4% compared to the previous quarter. However, compared to the third quarter of 2017, the seasonally and working day adjusted GDP grew by 3.9%.

The main contributor to economic growth continued to be the growth of value added in construction. It was followed by manufacturing, with largest contribution in three years. Significant contributions to the growth came also from professional, scientific and technical activities, information and communication, and transportation and storage activities. Only one activity had a significant negative impact in the third quarter agriculture, forestry and fishing. Mining and quarrying, which had had a positive impact in the previous two years, had a negative impact in the third quarter.

Contribution to GDP growth, 3rd quarter 2018

The growth of domestic demand accelerated in the third quarter and reached 6.4%. This was significantly boosted by gross fixed capital formation, which increased by 4.2% after declining in the previous two quarters. Growth of investments was broad-based. The main contributors to the growth were investments into buildings and structures by enterprises and investments into machinery and equipment by the government sector. Growth of final household consumption decelerated in the 3rd quarter and was 4.1%.

The exports of goods and services grew only by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. This was mainly due to growth in the exports of goods by 0.1%. The exports of services grew by 2.0%. The biggest positive impact was exerted by the exportation of computers, electronic and optical equipment, motor vehicles as well as the sale of computer and information services, and construction services. In contrast, the imports of goods and services continued a strong growth of 6.1%. The imports of goods increased by 4.4%, and the imports of services even by 11.2%. This was influenced most by the imports of machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified, and pharmaceutical products and the buying of air transport and travel services. The share of net exports in GDP was 2.6% in the 3rd quarter of 2018.

Along with overall economic growth, productivity indicators improved as well. Productivity per person employed grew by 3.4% while productivity per hour worked by 7.6%. Unit labour cost demonstrated its fastest growth in recent years, increasing under the continuing wage pressure by 8.3%.

On 30 August 2019, Statistics Estonia will publish the revised national accounts time series for the period 1995–2018. Additional information on the national accounts benchmark revisions based on the European Commission’s revision policies is available on the Statistics Estonia webpage.

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
Leading Analyst
Economic and Environmental Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9138

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database:
Auxiliary indicators to national accounts (employment, productivity, unit labour cost);
Gross domestic product by income approach;
Gross domestic product by expenditure approach;
Gross domestic product by production approach.