Profits of Estonia's business sector totaled €787 million in the third quarter of 2017, indicating an eight-percent drop on year. Sales, meanwhile, increased ten percent on year to €13.9 billion, Statistics Estonia reported on Tuesday.
Compared to the third quarter of 2016, total profits decreased in most economic activities. Construction, agricultural and manufacturing businesses contributed the most to the total profit of the business sector, while the growth in the sector's profit was negatively affected primarily by wholesale and real estate businesses.
In the third quarter, businesses sold goods and services for €13.9 billion, ten percent more than during the same period last year. The turnover of trade and manufacturing businesses, which accounted for the largest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased seven and five percent, respectively. The biggest increase occurred in the turnover of businesses specialising in water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities.
Compared to the same period a year before, the total expenditures of businesses increased 11 percent, including a nine percent increase in personnel expenses. The number of persons employed increased three percent and the number of hours worked two percent. Labor productivity of the business sector on the basis of value added amounted to an average of €5,800 in the quarter per person employed, remaining at the same level as during the third quarter of last year.
In the third quarter of 2017, businesses invested €477 million, two percent less than during the same period last year. Investments were made primarily in machinery and equipment as well as buildings.
Primary investors included manufacturing, energy, trade, and transportation and storage businesses, accounting for more than half of all total investments. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, investments in buildings, computers, and equipment and machinery increased, while investments in transport equipment and land decreased.
Editor: Aili Vahtla