Estonia ran a current account surplus of €43 million in December, down €22 million on year, according to a flash estimate published by the Bank of Estonia.
The total surplus on the goods and services account was €64 million, up €20 million on year. Both exports and imports of goods increased by four percent. The larger volume of goods imports meant the deficit on the goods account increased by €6 million euros from December 2016 to €112 million euros, the central bank said.
The surplus on the services account was €26 million larger than a year earlier at €176 million. Services exports grew by seven percent and imports by three percent. The net outflow of investment income and current transfers, or the primary and secondary income accounts, increased by €4 million to €21 million.
The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of €87 million, meaning that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, i.e. the country as a whole invested more financial assets abroad than it received from there.
The financial account was affected in December by the transactions of non-financial corporations. At the end of the year, non-financial corporations reduced their liabilities and investment and pension funds changed their investment portfolio structure.
The Bank of Estonia publishes the flash estimate of the balance of payments monthly for the last month but one. The central bank will publish the balance of payments for the fourth quarter of 2017 on March 8.
The quarterly balance of payments is compiled from a combined system of representative primary data sources, including surveys of companies, while the monthly balance of payments draws from a considerably smaller database. Although the monthly report uses as much of the data available for the month reported as possible, including administrative data sources and reports on international payments, it is subjective to a certain degree, which is why it is called an estimate. Once the quarterly balance of payments is released, the monthly balances of payments are adjusted accordingly.
Editor: Aili Vahtla