According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday, in the first quarter of 2018, the total profit of Estonia's business sector was €584 million, down 5% compared to the same period last year.
Compared to the first quarter of 2017, total profit decreased in most economic activities. Transportation and storage, agriculture, forestry and fishing and energy enterprises made the biggest contribution to the total profit of the business sector. The growth in the sector's profit was negatively affected mainly by trade enterprises and enterprises specialising in administrative and support service activities.
In the first quarter of 2018, enterprises sold goods and services for €13.7 billion, i.e. 8% more than in the same period the year before. The biggest on-year increase occurred in the turnover of real estate enterprises. The turnover of trade and manufacturing enterprises, which have the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased respectively by 4% and 7% compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the total expenditure of enterprises increased by 9%, including an 8% increase in labour costs. The number of persons employed increased by 2% and the number of hours worked by 1% in a year. Labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of value added amounted to an average of €5,500 euros per a quarter per person employed, i.e. 3% more than in the first quarter of 2017.
In the first quarter of 2018, enterprises invested €490 million, which is 15% less than in the same period last year. Investments were made primarily in machinery and equipment and in buildings. The main investors were real estate, manufacturing and agriculture, forestry and fishing enterprises, which accounted for more than a half of the total investments of all enterprises. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, investments in buildings, computer systems and land increased. Investments in machinery and equipment and in transport equipment, meanwhile, decreased.
Editor: Aili Vahtla