Business Briefs: Estonian Trade Deficit Narrows, Rising Consumer Demand Among Top in Eurozone
Estonia's foreign trade deficit narrowed from a year ago in June as exports grew, said Statistics Estonia today
The foreign trade deficit declined by 19.3 million euros to 156.4 million in June from the same period in 2013. Total exports grew 1.0 percent in June compared to a 9.0 percent decline in May, which saw a deficit of 120.9 million euros.
Exports of electrical equipment, accounting for the bulk of the nation's exports, grew by 4.0 percent. At the same time, imports dropped 1.0 percent in June, slower than May's 5.0 percent fall.
The top destination country for Estonian products in June was Sweden (18 percent), followed by Finland (16 percent) and Latvia (11 percent), reported Statistics Estonia. The biggest increase occurred in exports to the United States, which accounted for 13 million euros of business and 4 percent of Estonian exports, a 51 percent growth rate in 12 months.
Exports to Russia, which account for 10 percent of Estonian exports, dropped 15 million euros in June due to reduced exports of agricultural products, food and textiles. This drop was before Russia imposed sanctions on EU exports of meat, seafood, dairy products and produce on Wednesday.
June's retail figures showed that consumer spending is at present near the top of the Eurozone.
Rising consumer spending in Estonia, which increased 0.9 percent in June from the same period last year, trailed only Germany (1.3 percent), Austria (1.1 percent) and Poland (1.0 percent) in the Eurozone, reported Eurostat on Thursday.
The Eurozone saw a 0.4 percent increase in the volume of retail trade largely due to rising expenditures on food, drinks and tobacco. The largest decline was registered by the retail industry in Finland, where volume decreased by 1.8 percentage points.