Institute of Economic Research Projects 3% Growth ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Estonian Institute of Economic Research says the economy will grow 3 percent this year, pegging growth for the year that just ended at 1.6 percent.

Inflation will ease and prices will increase 2.5 percent, said the institute.

It said the average gross wage would rise by 70 euros, hitting 1,030 euros, and that unemployment would drop by 0.3 percentage point to 8.2 percent.

A sampling of other recent forecasts for 2014 growth, mostly from December and November:

Bank of Estonia - 2.6 percent
Nordea Bank - 3.1 percent
OECD - 2.4 percent
Finance Ministry - 3.6 percent (late summer)

The expert view

Experts interviewed by the institute gave Estonia's economy a score of 5.4 on a scale of one to nine.

Two-thirds said that the economy would be stronger six months from now, and most said they expected improvements in investing and consumer spending. Export volume increases are also on the horizon, said most of the experts.

The reason for 2013's disappointing growth - Estonia has long been used to 4-5 percent growth - is that companies were complacent and invested too little while feeling that they had spent enough, said institute's director Marju Josing.

The institute's survey found that companies saw low demand and shortage of workforce as problems, while only 5 percent cited lack of equipment as a problem.