Preliminary report: Estonian economy grows by 1.8% in first quarter
In the first quarter of 2016, the seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP did not change compared to the previous quarter and grew by 1.8% compared to the first quarter of 2015.
Exports of goods decreased by 2% at real prices compared to the first quarter of 2015, mainly due to a decrease in the export of electrical equipment and mineral products, including motor spirit, fuel oils, and gas.
Imports of goods increased by 4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. According to preliminary estimates, the increase was biggest in imports of other machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and trailers, as well as mineral products.
The main contributor to growth in the first quarter were receipts of net taxes on products. The increase in alcohol and fuel excises had a significant impact on growth. As the rise in the excise rates was shifted one month forward, revenue from excises shifted from the end of the previous year to the first quarter of the current year.
According to preliminary estimates, added value in trade was the main contributor to GDP growth among economic activities in the first quarter of 2016. The Estonian economy was inhibited the most by the decrease in value added in the energy sector. While domestic demand was strong, there was a decrease in foreign demand.
The flash estimate of economic growth is calculated only by production approach, using VAT return information from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board as well as data from various statistical sources of Statistics Estonia. It may differ from the revised GDP estimates, which are based on the respective quarterly data and calculated by expenditure, production, and income approach.
Statistics Estonia will publish a revised GDP estimate for the first quarter on Jun. 9.