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Swedbank: Growth of foreign trade volumes has come to halt

Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina.
Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

According to Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina, the growth of foreign trade volumes has come to a halt and the increase in foreign trade revenue is the result of price increases.

"Even though the growth of export and import prices decelerated slightly in the second quarter, they continued to strongly support foreign trade revenue," Mertsina said. "The export volume of goods, or growth without the impact of price change, remained nearly the same in the second quarter as during the same period last year, and the volume of imports increased three percent."

According to the chief economist, the growth in export revenue has been rapid and is a result of increased externaldemand and the growth in export prices. "Despite the deceleration of export growth in the second quarter, the growth of exports has been strong thi year," he said. "This is due to both improved external demand and an increase in export prices. As Estonia's export transactions are primarily carried out in euros and transactions in U.S. dollars only account for one tenth of the total, the stronger euro should not have a direct negative impact on our exports."

Mertsina noted that Estonian business operators' export expectations and outlooks have improved and are increasingly optimistic. "An especially strong leap in the positive direction has happened in the second and third quarters, during which assessments are significantly above the ten-year average," he said.

"The European economy is currently still in a cycle of growth," said the Swedbank economist. "We estimate that strong external demand will remain in the near future, but next year we expect a modest deceleration in its growth. This means that businesses must make even greater efforts in order to improve their competitiveness."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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