Record current account surplus in 2016 at €555 million

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Euros. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

Estonia’s current account surplus reached €555 million, or 2.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. This is the best result of the last 25 years, and the first time the surplus has gone beyond €500 million.

The surplus increased by 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, the Bank of Estonia reported. The goods and services surplus amounted to €870 million, Estonia’s third-best result in history behind 2010 and 2011.

The trade deficit at €860 million was more or less the same than in 2015, with total export-import volumes increasing by some 3 percent.

Most of the main export and import sectors reported growth, with the exception of foods and mineral products. In terms of goods crossing the Estonian border, imports were greater than exports by about €1.2 billion, while a closer look shows that exports to third countries were some €341 million greater than imports from the same areas.

The trade surplus of services while having been more or less the same over the preceding three years reached a record €1.73 billion last year, with export of services growing by 6 percent, and imports by 8 percent.

The export of financial, constructions, IT and other business services showed strong growth, while maritime and railway transport services shrank. Air transport services for non-residents increased.

Net outflow from investment income and other income amounted to €314 million, or about 20 percent less than in the previous year. The main reason for this was a reduction in the net outflow of direct investment income, and to a lesser extent an increase in the net inflow of portfolio investment as well as other investment income.

Agricultural subsidies from European Union funds increased, while the current expenditure of other EU subsidies remained the same. The net inflow of labour income didn’t change either, the Bank of Estonia reported.

The capital account surplus at €181 million was less than half what it was in 2015. This was due to a drop of around half in the use of EU structural funding, and also because significant income was earned in 2015 with the sale of emissions quotas.

The net total of the current and capital accounts was at a surplus of €736 million. According to the central bank, this means that Estonia was a net lender to other countries for the eighth consecutive year.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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