Economist predicts purchasing power spike this year ({{commentsTotal}})

Head economist at Swedbank Estonia, Tõnu Mertsina, said that salaries should increase on 2014 pace while inflation is expected to be low, meaning that purchasing power will increase.

“Ultra low inflation will bring about an acceleration to net wage increases,” Mertsina said.

“Net salary rates will be given a boost by state measures to decrease labor taxation and salary increases in the public sector. Growth in social benefits will kick an added boost to private consumption, which will be the greatest factor behind economic growth this year and next,” he said.

Swedbank is predicting two percent growth for Estonia this year.

Speaking about risks, Mertsina said that the retracting Russian economy, sanctions and weak ruble will hit Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, and that will in turn have an effect on Estonian exports.

On the other hand, Sweden, Estonia's largest export partner, is expected to grow, he said, adding that Estonia's export volumes are likely to slow.

“Cheaper fuel does increase consumption in other areas or boost peoples' savings, but the initial estimate that the effect will translate into a 1.5-percent increase to private consumption. But that is larger than the effect from the drop in the income tax rate and increase in the tax free minimum rate,” he said.

Editor: J.M. Laats, S. Tambur

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.