The Estonian economy has contracted less during the crisis than the economies of several other European countries, SEB economic analyst Mihkel Nestor said on Friday.
"The start of the coronavirus crisis put economic analysts in a difficult situation as well," Nestor said. "While outdated statistics spoke nothing of the future of the economy, accurate numbers on what was taking place could not be retrieved anywhere else either."
Many figures have already been published about the crisis which offer a tentative picture of the situation in the economy, he said. "While it can be said in advance that this picture is ugly, it could have been much worse as well," he added.
The decline in Estonia's GDP following a ten-year increase was shocking, but this decline was rather technical in nature, as it was first and foremost caused by the adjournment of tax receipts at the end of last year.
"In this, the 0.7 percent reduction in Estonia's GDP was a rather positive result by European standards," Nestor highlighted. "In many other EU member states, the decline was significantly steeper."
He noted the Spanish economy shrank 3.8 percent, the French economy by 4.7 percent and the Italian economy by as much as 5.6 percent, adding the decline in GDP was also bigger among Estonia's immediate neighbors, including Finland and Latvia.
"It is, however, worth remembering that in Estonia, the coronavirus crisis affected only a couple of weeks at the end of the first quarter, which is why it couldn't affect economic growth very much," Nestor observed.
Editor: Aili Vahtla