Peeter Koppel, economic expert and head of investments for Redgate Capital, said that Estonia has not yet hit bottom in the ongoing crisis. While the analyst refrained from making longer-term predictions, Koppel remains optimistic in terms of Estonia weathering the crisis.
Koppel, who commented on the state of the economy on Vikerraadio, said that Estonia's continued exports decline will end up costing people their jobs.
"Looking at our small and relatively inconsequential Eastern European country where it is always cold or at least dark, it constitutes a huge problem as around 80 percent of our GDP is tied to export. The disappearance of foreign demand leaves us in the lurch."
The analyst added that while foreign demand has not disappeared completely, some Estonian companies have seen their orders shrink by 30, 40 or even 50 percent. "The fall has been considerable and reactions will include bringing down fixed costs. And when that happens, people start losing their jobs," Koppel said.
The expert does not believe Estonia has hit bottom in this crisis and can now simply wait for things to improve.
"Our feet have not touched the bottom yet as it is quite difficult to forecast foreign demand. While the IMF is claiming there will be a soft landing in the developed world, what we have presently does not look soft at all," Koppel remarked.
He said that the situation is better in the U.S. courtesy of the government spending like a "drunk sailor." "The U.S. is okay because state spending is even naughtier than it has been historically."
But things are far from good in Europe where Estonia's main export partners are found, the analyst added.
Koppel remained cautious when asked what the future might bring, saying: "I would not go beyond the second half-year of 2024 as visibility is also quite poor."
On a more positive note, he said that the current crisis is not nearly as bad as what Estonia has been forced to endure in the past. "We survived the Soviet Union, we survived 1998, and we survived a serious crisis in 2008. What we have today cannot be compared to 1998 or 2008, and we will also survive this thing."
Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski