According information released by Statistics Estonia on Tuesday morning, the total profit of Estonia's business sector in the first quarter of 2017 was €612 million, up 18 percent from the same quarter of last year.
Compared to the first quarter of 2016, total profit increased in almost all economic activities. The biggest contribution to the total profit of the business sector was made by trade and manufacturing enterprises, while growth in the sector's profit was negatively affected mostly by real estate and transportation and storage enterprises.
In the first quarter of 2017, businesses sold goods and services for €12.7 billion, which was 8 percent more than during the same period of last year. The biggest turnover growth was in construction activity. The turnover of trade enterprises, which have the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased seven percent, mainly due to an increase in the turnover of wholesale trade. The growth was supported also by retail and motor trade. The turnover of manufacturing enterprises increased five percent year over year.
Compared to the same period last year, the total expenditure of businesses increased eight percent, including an eight-percent increase in personnel expenses. The number of persons employed increased two percent and the number of hours worked stayed at the level of the previous year. The labor productivity of the business sector on the basis of value added amounted to an average of €5,280 per quarter per person employed, i.e. eight percent more than in the first quarter of 2016.
Businesses' investments enterprises resumed growth. In the first quarter of 2017, businesses in Estonia invested €573 million, which was 28 percent more than during the same period last year. Investments were made mostly in machinery and equipment, transport equipment and buildings. The main investors were manufacturing, transportation and storage, and trade enterprises, accounting for more than a half of the total investments of all enterprises. Compared to the first quarter of 2016, only investments in the acquisition of buildings fell. Other investments increased, with the biggest increase registered in investments in transport equipment.
Editor: Aili Vahtla