Estonia: Economic growth slows in Q1
June 10, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP grew 1.1% over the same period last year, which was slightly above May's flash estimate of 1.0% but markedly below the 3.7% expansion seen in the fourth quarter.
The deceleration mainly reflected a deterioration in domestic demand. Private consumption grew 3.6% in the first quarter (Q4 2012: +5.0% year-on-year), while government consumption decelerated from a 6.5% expansion in the fourth quarter to a 0.3% rise in the first. In addition, fixed investment swung from a 7.6% expansion in the fourth quarter to a 6.5% contraction in the first.
On the external side, exports of goods and services rose 6.1% (Q4: +7.1% yoy), while imports added 4.8% (Q4: +12.2%). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to economic growth improved from minus 4.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter to plus 1.3 percentage points in the first.
In seasonally and working-day adjusted terms, GDP fell 1.4% over the previous quarter, which contrasted the 0.9% rise tallied in Q4.
The Central Bank expects GDP growth to reach 3.0% this year and 4.0% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see the economy growing 3.0% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's estimate. In 2014, economic growth is expected to accelerate to 3.6%.