The sharp dip in petrol prices, from the fourth quarter of 2014 onwards, has added 0.5 percent to Estonia's GDP, compared to a scenario where prices would have remained the same, Bank of Estonia economist Kaspar Oja said.
Speaking about Estonia's energy sector, which is linked to world fuel prices and has suffered since the end of last year, Oja said investments have been cut and the sector has purchased less from other sectors.
“Overall, the drop in petrol prices has had a positive impact on household consumption and on exports to the EU. The total impact from the drop in petrol prices is 0.5 percent higher in GDP in 2015, compared to a scenario if oil prices would have remained unchanged,” he said, adding that these calculations do not calculate the drop in Russian purchasing power.
Bank of Estonia said the increase in purchasing power thanks to low petrol prices boosted GDP by 0.4 percent, with another 0.2 percent being added due to an increase in purchasing power of other EU nations. Estonia's energy sector pulled the positive impact of low fuel prices back 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.
If fuel prices remain at current levels, Bank of Estonia predicts the impact on GDP could be even greater in 2016, adding around 0.7 percent to GDP.
Economy still growing
According to estimates by Statistics Estonia, GDP in Estonia grew by 0.7 percent in the third quarter of 2015, compared to Q3 in 2014.
In the 3rd quarter, the seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP increased also by 0.7 percent compared to the 3rd quarter of 2014, but decreased by 0.4 percent compared to the 2nd quarter of 2015.
In the 3rd quarter, the GDP at current prices was 5.1 billion euros.
In the 3rd quarter of 2015, the GDP growth was influenced the most by a rise in the value added in trade, professional, scientific and technical activities, and real estate activities. The Estonian economy was also positively influenced by increased receipts of value added tax and decreased payments of subsidies. Read the full report here.
Editor: J.M. Laats