Estonia's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 4.3 percent to €8 billion in the first quarter of 2022, data from Statistics Estonia shows.
Robert Müürsepp, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that economic growth has slowed considerably as a result of rising prices. "Enterprises have seen a strong growth in their turnover and other financial indicators, but the majority of this can be attributed to the very rapid increase in prices," said Müürsepp.
The biggest contributor to overall economic growth in the first quarter of 2022 was the information and communication sector, which increased by almost 2 percentage points. Manufacturing, transportation and storage, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities also saw increases during this period.
In contrast, the energy sector suffered the largest decrease during the first quarter, as its activities declined by 1 percent. GDP growth for the period was also slowed by the retail and the financial sector, which had largely remained stable during the pandemic.
Despite general price increases, private consumption in Estonia grew by 8.3 percent during the first quarter. According to Statistics Estonia, the biggest increases in expenditure were on leisure time activities including hotels and restaurants, clothing and footwear, transport and entertainment. Household costs and expenditure on food and drinks, however, remained more or less unchanged.
Investments decreased by 35.3 percent in the first quarter, continuing a similar trend seen at the end of last year. The drop was mainly attributed to an 84.5 percent fall in investments in computer software and databases. There was also a substantial decrease of 28.5 percent in housing and property investment.
The transport industry fared much better on the other hand, as evidenced by a 9.5 percent increase in investment in transport equipment. Despite these overall gains, the transport sector also saw a significant fall in foreign trade related to both the purchase and supply of rail transport services. Foreign trade was primarily boosted by electricity, crude oil and natural gas, as well as travel services.
According to Statistics Estonia, both exports and imports grew during the first quarter, with the former rising by 12.9 percent and the latter seeing a 4.4 percent increase
Overall, in comparison to the previous quarter, the seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 0.1%, with GDP for the first quarter of 2022 growing by 4.7% in comparison to the same period in 2021.
Editor: Michael Cole
Source: Statitics Estonia