Statistics: Economy grows by 8.6 percent on year to Q3 2021

Construction. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 8.6 percent on year to the third quarter of 2021 (Q3 2021), state agency Statistics Estonian reports.

Robert Müürsepp, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that: "In the recent quarters, the economy has done well overall, but some activities have not yet reached their pre-pandemic levels. Accommodation and catering activities, which have suffered the most in the crisis, remain at 15 percent below their level of two years ago. Manufacturing also has not yet completely recovered."

At the same time, after several strong quarters, there was a fall in investments in the Q3 2021, Müürsepp added: "Primarily due to smaller investments in software and databases, investments declined by 8.8 percent."

"Investments of households in dwellings fell by 11.4 percent. On the other hand, in line with economic growth, enterprises' investments in transportation equipment grew by 32 percent and investments in other machinery and equipment by 15.1 percent", he continued.

Economic growth was driven by mostly construction, information and communication, real estate, and transportation and storage areas, Müürsepp added, while the manufacturing and professional sectors, scientific and technical activities also exerted a positive impact.

GDP at current prices stood at €7.9 billion in Q3 2021.

Compared with the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 0.7 percent, and compared with the third quarter of 2020, by 9.2 percent, Statistics Estonia says.

In Q3 2020, the economy was in decline due to the pandemic, but has since grown rapidly, through 2021.

Despite coronavirus restrictions in society, the economy has fared well, Statistics Estonia says, while in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic arrived, the economic growth was stable.

Growth continues to be broad-based, and several economic activities have shown very strong results, the agency says.

The only economic activity that bucked the trend and exerted a negative influence on GDP growth in Q3 2021 was energy, due to fast growth in the prices of electricity and gas, Statistics Estonia says.

Economic sectors contribution to Q3 2021 growth Source: Statistics Estonia

Private consumption grew at more-or-less the same rate as the economy, by 8.7 percent. Growth was fastest in those consumption groups that were hit harder during the pandemic: Leisure and entertainment, transport, hotels and restaurants, clothing and footwear.

Spending also grew on durables, such as clothing and furnishings.

GDP growth on year to Q3 2021 Source: Statistics Estonia

Foreign trade also continued to see rapid growth: Exports and imports grew equally by 17.5 percent.

The export of services grew the fastest, by 38.9 percent, driven by computer services and other technical and business services.

The import of services grew mostly thanks to sea transport of freight and storage services.

The biggest contributors to trade were found in the timber and wood industries, computers and electronic equipment, and in metal products and electricity.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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