Household Debt Back to 2007 Levels ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Estonian borrowing picked up in early 2012, but overall household debt has continued to drop as old loans are repaid and incomes grow.

The debt volume as a percentage of GDP was 140 percent at the end of the first quarter, new figures from the central bank indicate. 

That is 27 percentage points lower than in the peak three years ago and is back to the early 2007 level.

Besides lower loan obligations, growth of savings - both cash and bank deposits - helped improve Estonians' financial situation.

"The more balanced financial situation reduces vulnerability to possible external environment risks," said the Bank of Estonia.

The annual growth in monetary savings - cash in hand and deposits - was 8 percent as of the end of the first quarter.

Although corporate deposits in banks operating in Estonia stayed on par with the end of last year, deposits abroad increased by over 100 million euros during the quarter.

As a whole, the economy was a net borrower in Q1, with more credit coming in from foreign markets than it invested there, mainly due to seasonal factors in the government sector.