Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina estimates the prospect of the industrial sector's growth in the near future to be good as the grown of Estonia's industrial output in March was the most rapid in six years.
"The prices of both sold and imported products and services increased in the eurozone at the highest pace seen in six years," Mertsina said in a Swedbank press release. "This is mainly due to the increase in the price of raw materials on the global market. The increase in producer prices as well as export and import prices has accelerated abruptly in Estonia as well. The reason for this was also an increase in the price of raw material.
"We estimate that improved external demand and an increase in sales prices will in the next few months support the growth of the production volume and turnover of the industrial sector," he explained. "A fast increase in the production volume and export of the industrial sector also refers to the strong GDP growth in the first quarter."
The last time that industrial production volumes grew faster was in August 2011. "Even though the March results of all European countries have not yet been published, the volume increase of Estonia's industrial sector in the first quarter was likely one of the fastest," Mertsina highlighted. "Based on the first two months of the year, industrial output increased faster only in Greece."
The rapid increase in the volume of energy production was a result of a 55-percent increase in electricity production. "As electricity consumption increased only one percent, electricity production surpassed consumption by a third and the electricity trade balance experienced a surplus," the economist explained. "Even though the increase of crude oil prices on the global market has been relatively modest, it has helped along the growth in production volume and export of our oil shale products. Strong growth in the production volume of electricity and shale oil products increased the volume of production in mining and quarrying by 86 percent in March."
The volume of manufacturing increased by one tenth in March. Mertsina said that the reason behind the growth was improved internal and external demand. "Export of manufacturing output increased 11 percent on year, while sales aimed towards the domestic market increased 12 percent," he said "In addition, new orders in most industrial sectors operating on the basis of orders have increased. According to businesses, the prospect of an increase in production volumes and export has improved."
The output of Estonian industrial businesses increased 15 percent in March compared to the same month last year. Output increased in the energy sector and mining and quarrying as well as in manufacturing.
Editor: Aili Vahtla