Estonia: Economic activity gains momentum in Q1
May 12, 2011
In the first quarter, the Estonian economy grew 8.0% over the same period last year, according to the flash estimate released by Statistics Estonia (SE) on 12 May. The quarterly reading, which marks the fastest pace in four years, represents an improvement over the already strong 6.7% increase recorded in Q4, and overshot market expectations of a 6.1% print. According to the press release, the main growth driver in the first quarter was the manufacturing sector, as has been the case in previous quarters. Based on monthly data, broad industrial production expanded 31.2% in Q1 over the same period last year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the strong momentum suggested by annual figures, as GDP grew for the sixth consecutive quarter, expanding 2.1% over the previous period in seasonally adjusted terms (Q4: +2.3% quarter-on-quarter). Full details of the national accounts data will be published on 9 June. As a result of the strong growth recorded in the final quarters, the Estonian economy was able to rebound from a 13.9% contraction in 2009 to expand 3.1% in 2010, overshooting the Bank of Estonia's projection of a 2.5% expansion. This year, the Bank expects GDP growth to pick-up to 4.2% before decelerating to 3.8% in 2012.