Prime minister waxes modest about 3.9% economic growth in 2018

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said on Thursday that Estonia's "hard-working entrepreneurs and employees" are to thank for last year's economic growth. At an expansion of the country's economy by 3.9% of its gross domestic products, growth has been even better than forecast, he said.

According to a Government Office press release, Mr Ratas said that "our hard-working entrepreneurs and employees are to thank for an economic growth of 3.9%, which is even more extensive than we estimated."

Mr Ratas also pointed out that growth in the last quarter of 2018 had been 4.2%. "Value added increased in most of our important sectors, such as manufacturing, information technology, transportation and construction," he said.

"I would especially like to stress the fact that investments increased at the end of the year, which is a highly positive factor in terms of long-term development. Over the course of the year, investments increased by 3.3%, which is a great result compared to previous years," the prime minister said.

Days before the general election on 3 March and despite sharp criticism on the part of the opposition, Mr Ratas can look back on a successful stint in office at least in economic turns. Almost 70% of Estonia's working-age population is employed, bringing the country's unemployment rate to a 20-year low. Incomes are growing, corporate profits were up 4% in 2018, the number of bankruptcies has declined by about a fifth, and exports were up 12% year on year.

Statistics Estonia is expected to publish information concerning 2018 average wages tomorrow Friday.

"Yesterday the European Commission issued its 2018 country report for Estonia, praising our fast economic growth, efficient tax administration and favourable business environment," Mr Ratas added. "Now is really the best time to address long-term challenges, such as regional inequality and support of innovation. This is the way to make sure that Estonia will continue to show sustainable and inclusive economic growth."

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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