Finance minister: Economy could contract in 2020

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE).
Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia's economic growth forecast of 2 percent may now need revising downward, and, if counter-measures are not taken, may fall to zero or even into negative figures this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) said Friday. Helme added that the government would be borrowing at least a billion euros to mitigate the effects of the virus.

Speaking at a press conference Friday, Helme said that the previous figure of 2 percent growth rate this year may not only not be met, but growth might stand at zero or, in the worst-case scenario, see the economy contract by up to five percentage points, to -3 percent, if no appropriate measures are taken, BNS reports.

Helme added that it was clear that tax receipts would decrease.

In certain sectors, the state may partly compensate for the unearned income to ensure that otherwise successfully operating companies do not go bankrupt as a result of the crisis, Helme added.

The government would be borrowing anything from one to two billion euros, in an effort to mitigate the effects of coronavirus, Helme said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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