Swedbank Macro Research

Baltic Archive

A list of the Baltic publications in English for the last two years.

Estonian Economy
June 16, 2017
Winds of change in the retail market
• Profitability remains a concern • Developments across subsectors vary • Challenges ahead Sales are on the rise, but profitability remains a concern Retail trade enterprises expect their sales to rise (by 6.1% in 2017, according to a re..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
June 15, 2017
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 171.2 in Riga and record high of 134.7 in Vilnius, but decreased to 146.4 in Tallinn
In Tallinn, affordability decreased by 7.3 points in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2016, as price growth was more than double that of wage growth. In Riga, the HAI increased by 5 points as a price pickup was comp..
Flash comment: Lithuania
June 08, 2017
Annual inflation eases marginally in May
Annual consumer price growth decelerated marginally to 3.4% in May. Meanwhile, the average annual inflation picked up to 1.8%. Higher prices of alcohol (resulted by a hike in excise duties) and fuel, as well as those of restaurant services contr..
Flash comment: Lithuania
June 01, 2017
Strong broad-based GDP growth
In the first quarter of this year the Lithuanian economy expanded by 3.9%, in annual terms, and by 1.4%, in quarterly terms (seasonally adjusted). This was the most rapid annual growth rate since mid-2014. This was also a relatively broad-based..
Flash comment: Latvia
June 01, 2017
Wage growth accelerated in Q1
• Annual growth of the gross monthly wage at 7.2% in Q1 • Wages growing in almost all sectors The annual growth of the average gross monthly wage accelerated to 7.2% in the first quarter of this year after growing by 5% last year as a whole. Wage..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 31, 2017
Latvia: GDP growth speeding up and broadening
• 1Q2017 reports fastest GDP growth since 2012 • Broad cyclical upswing with almost all sectors reporting solid growth • Strong upside risks for GDP growth in 2017 to significantly exceed 3% Latvian GDP expanded by 4% YoY (up 1.6% QoQ) in 1Q 2..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 31, 2017
GDP growth in Estonia – the fastest in five years
Accelerated export growth and robust recovery of investments contributed to the GDP growthOn the output side, manufacturing, construction and domestic trade contributed the most We expect that GDP growth remains robust in 2017, but decelerates comp..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 29, 2017
Slower growth of wages reduces macroeconomic risks
• The growth of average monthly gross wages slowed to 5.7% in the first quarter. • We expect gross wages to grow by around 6% this year. The growth of the average gross monthly wage decelerated from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.7%, over the year, in the f..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 26, 2017
Wage growth surge in private sector in Q1
Nominal gross wages growth accelerated to 9.3%, while real net wages rose by 7.4% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Wages in private sector increased by 10.4%, which was the highest pace since 2008. Constr..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 15, 2017
Participation rate increased further
Labour market performed better than expected in the first quarter. The labour force participation rate, i.e., the proportion of persons of working-age who are either employed or unemployed, reached a record level of 70.2%, considering seasonal fact..
Estonian Economy
May 15, 2017
Foreign direct investment – better, but there is capacity for more
Estonia is still among largest net beneficiaries from FDI in the EU Increased inflow of FDI may boost fixed capital formation in the near future FDI by country becomes more and more diversified Can FDI boost enterprises’ investments into fixed asse..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 12, 2017
Employment drops in Q1 as expected
The unemployment rate increased in the first quarter of this year to 8.0%, but was 0.3 percentage points lower than a year ago. As activity growth is close to its limit and was too low to compensate for shrinking working age population, labour forc..
Lithuanian Economy
May 02, 2017
Rising wages mask widening income inequality
Rapid wage growth, but not for everyoneIncome inequality has picked up – action requiredMain culprits - weak social safety nets and changing economy Rapid wage growth, but not for everyone Average wage growth has been rapid, and wage inequality..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 28, 2017
Positive start of the year: GDP growth accelerates to 3.8% in Q1
The Lithuanian annual GDP growth accelerated to 3.8% in the first quarter of this year. This was the most rapid annual growth rate since mid-2014. Meanwhile, in quarterly terms, the seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 1.4%.
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 10, 2017
Annual inflation accelerated to 3.1% and will not ease
Annual consumer price growth accelerated to 3.1% in March, while average annual inflation picked up to 1.4%. Monthly inflation spike was caused by higher excise duties, which increased the prices of alcohol. Higher alcohol and fuel prices also cont..
Macro Focus
March 31, 2017
Brexit: the EU28 is dead, long live the EU?
The die is cast - the next move is the EU'sLimited effects of Brexit on the Baltic economies, so farBaltic interest - strong EU
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
March 09, 2017
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 185.5 in Riga, but decreased to 151.9 in Tallinn and to 128.8 in Vilnius
In Tallinn, affordability decreased by 1.6 points in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2015, as price growth outpacednwage growth. In Riga, the HAI increased by 25.5 points as prices and interest rates decreased. In..
Flash comment: Estonia
March 02, 2017
Wage growth accelerated in 2016
• Average wages grew in all economic sectors. • We expect the growth of average gross wages to slow from 7.6% in 2016 to around 5% in 2017. The growth of average gross wage accelerated to 7.6% in 2016. Net average wages grew rapidly too, by..
Flash comment: Lithuania
March 01, 2017
Strong household consumption and recovering investment
According to revised GDP figures, the Lithuanian economy grew more rapidly in the fourth quarter of last year and in 2016 than previously estimated. The annual real GDP growth accelerated to 3.2% in the fourth quarter of last year (prev. 3%), wh..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 28, 2017
The lowest point is past – this year the growth will accelerate
According to the revised data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, GDP growth was +2%. As expected, investment has undergone the largest revision: even though the gross fixed capital formation declined by about 11% last year, it is much les..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 28, 2017
Economic growth in the last quarter of 2016 was above expectations
In 2016, economic growth reached 1.6% in Estonia. Compared to 2015 it is a 0.2 percentage point increase, but nothing to be too proud of yet. Nominal growth of GDP accelerated from 2.5% in 2015 to 3.3% in 2016. In the last quarter of 2016 Estonian ..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 27, 2017
Wage growth will continue; companies should focus on increasing productivity
• Average monthly nominal gross wage growth 5% in 2016 • In the Q4 the wage growth accelerated to 5.6% year-on-year • Household purchasing power growth 4.6% on average in 2016 The average monthly nominal gross wage growth slowed to 5% in 2016 co..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 27, 2017
Non-financial corporations’ sector profits decreased third year in a row
In 2016, non-financial sector profits decreased 10% in Estonia. Profits decreased third year in a row. Robust wage growth has contributed to the decrease in corporations’ profits The major share of the decrease in profits came from manufacturing, r..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 24, 2017
Public sector drives wage growth acceleration in Q4
Nominal gross wages increased by 8.7%, while real net wages rose by 7.6% in the fourth quarter of the last year compared with the same period a year ago. Wage growth continued to be driven by minimum wage hike and higher non-taxable income thre..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 21, 2017
Unemployment rate decreased to 9.3% in the Q4 of 2016
• The unemployment rate down to 9.3% in 4Q 2016 (vs. 9.8% a year earlier), on average 9.6% in 2016 (vs. 9.9% in 2015) • Employment down by 3 thsd or 0.3% last year• The unemployment rate expected to decrease more rapidly this year, to about 8.5% o..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 14, 2017
Participation rate increased further in 2016
• Labour market remained tight in 2016. • Employment is expected to marginally decline and the unemployment rate to grow in 2017. In 2016, the labour force participation rate, the share of the labour force in the working-age population, incr..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 14, 2017
Consumer prices on a rise. More to come
In January consumer prices increased by 0.3% compared with December and were 2.3% higher than a year ago. Most of the increase was due to more expensive food products and alcoholic beverages, but housing costs and most of the services were also mor..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 10, 2017
Annual inflation close to 3% in January
Consumer prices increased by 0.1% in January compared to December last year and were 2.9% higher than in January 2016. This marks the highest annual monthly inflation rate since mid-2011. 1.9% higher food prices and 4.1% higher fuel prices contribu..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 10, 2017
Unemployment down to 7.9% in 2016
The unemployment rate increased marginally in the fourth quarter of last year - to 7.6%, but was 1.2 percentage points lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the whole last year averaged at 7.9%. The activity rate of 15-74 y..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 30, 2017
The economic growth is gaining pace in Latvia
• GDP growth in the Q4 accelerated to 2.1% (yoy, nsa), 1.6% for the whole year • The low point is past, growth will speed up close to 3% in 2017 • Structural reforms can ensure more rapid and sustainable growth According to the flash estimate of th..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 30, 2017
GDP increased by 2.2% in 2016
The Lithuanian economy surprised on the upside in the fourth quarter of last year as GDP picked up by 3%, in annual terms. Quarterly seasonally adjusted growth accelerated from 0.4% in the third quarter to 1.3% in the fourth quarter. GDP increas..
Macro Focus
January 27, 2017
Protectionism – no-win game, especially for the Baltics
Greater trade integration benefits overall welfareGlobal trade has slowed recently because of cyclical and structural reasonsProtectionism would hamper global economic growth – small and open economies, e.g. the Baltics, have most to loseNo quick a..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 11, 2017
Consumer prices increased by 0.1% in 2016 despite deflation in the first half of the year
Consumer prices increased by 0.6% in December 2016 compared to November in the same year. Thus annual inflation in December accelerated to 2.2%. On a monthly basis, food prices grew by 1.3% and contributed the most to the increase. Rise in heati..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 09, 2017
Annual inflation jumped to 1.7% at the end of 2016
Annual consumer price growth accelerated to 1.7% in December. Higher prices of food products (dairy products, meat), alcoholic drinks (beer), fuels, tobacco products as well as restaurant services contributed the most to annual inflation. In mon..
Flash comment: Estonia
January 06, 2017
Prices increased by 0.1% in 2016
Consumer price index increased by 0.1% in 2016. Higher excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuels contributed positively, while cheaper energy had the biggest negative impact on prices. The prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco were arou..
Macro Focus
January 05, 2017
Construction in Baltics will rebound for now
Contraction is temporary Residential sector is stronger, at least in Estonia and Lithuania Construction costs will rise, but export potential is there
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
December 20, 2016
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 162.5 in Riga, but decreased to 145.9 in Tallinn and to 124.3 in Vilnius
In Tallinn, affordability decreased by 0.8 point in the third quarter this year compared with the same period in 2015, due to a slight increase in interest rates as price growth was equal to wage growth. In Riga, the HAI increased by 2.3 points a..
Flash comment: Estonia
December 09, 2016
Investments and inventories had the strongest negative impact on GDP growth in the third quarter
Statistics Estonia revised up to 1.3% its second estimate of the third quarter yoy GDP real growth in Estonia (flash estimate was 1.1%). Compared to the previous quarter, GDP grew by 0.2% (swda). Economic growth has decelerated a bit this year - du..
Flash comment: Latvia
December 08, 2016
Annual consumer price growth accelerates to 1.3% in November
Consumer prices increased by 0.2% in November compared to October this year and were 1.3% higher than in November 2015. This marks the third consecutive month of positive annual inflation and the second – with annual inflation of at least 1%. On ..
Baltic Sea Region Report
December 08, 2016
Half-hearted reforms will not raise competitiveness and boost growth
• Mind the risks to long-term growth • Exports hold the key to future growth in the Baltics • The services sector – stronger, smarter and more diversified Mind the risks to long-term growth Russia has exited recession and now all the Baltic Sea reg..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 30, 2016
GDP growth in 3Q 2016 meagre 0.3% YoY, weighed down by falling investments
In 3Q 2016 real GDP grew by only 0.3% compared to the year ago (up 0.2% against the second quarter of 2016, according to seasonally and working day adjusted data). The key reason for this poor data is the decrease in investment activity, which is m..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 30, 2016
GDP growth decelerates in Q3 due to shrinking investments
Annual GDP growth decelerated to 1.7% in the third quarter of this year. Seasonally and working day adjusted quarterly growth decelerated from 0.4% in the second quarter to 0.1% in the third quarter. Household demand remained the main driver of gro..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 25, 2016
Rapid wage growth continued through Q3
Nominal gross wages increased by 7.9%, while real net wages rose by 7.4% in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period a year. Wage growth continued to be driven by minimum wage hike and higher non-taxable income threshold as o..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 24, 2016
Rapid wage growth continues
• Wage growth remained rapid in the 3rd quarter at 7%, over the year. • We expect average gross wage to slow to around 5% in 2017. In the 3rd quarter of 2016, the average monthly gross wage was 1,119 euros in Estonia, up by 7.1% over the year. ..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 14, 2016
Employment down and unemployment up
• Employment decreased by 1.2%, over the year, in the third quarter. • The unemployment rate jumped to 7.5% in the third quarter. • Employment is expected to marginally decline and the unemployment rate to grow in 2017. Changes in the third qua..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 11, 2016
Despite meagre GDP growth, several economic indicators have improved
Economic growth in Estonia continued to be weak in the 3Q. According to the flash estimate, Estonian economy grew 1.1% yoy and 0.2% qoq (seasonally and calendar adjusted). The GDP has increased 1.1% yoy during the first three quarters. We shall pro..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 11, 2016
Employment growth is slowing down
Unemployment dropped to 7.5% in the third quarter this year – 0.8 pp lower than a year ago. Activity rate remained high and labour force increased despite contracting working age population over a year. Annual employment growth slowed down from ..
Macro Focus
November 09, 2016
“President-elect Trump” – uncertainty and dampened prospects for growth
Protectionism harmful for small open economiesFinancial market uncertainty likely to lastNordics & Baltics have strong fundamentals to weather storm
Flash comment: Latvia
October 31, 2016
Latvia’s economic growth extremely weak in Q3
• 0.8% (nsa) yoy • 0.5% (swda) qoq According to the flash estimate, the year-on-year GDP growth rate was only 0.8% (nsa) in Q3, down from 2.1% seen in the Q1 and Q2. The economic growth was surprisingly weak and well below our forecast. Even though..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 31, 2016
GDP growth decelerated further to 1.7 % in Q3
GDP growth disappointed again and according to the flash estimate economy picked up by 1.7% in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Quarterly growth decelerated from 0.4% in the second quarter to 0.1% in the ..
Estonian Economy
September 09, 2016
Tourism: can the success be sustained?
• Estonia has been an attractive tourist destination • Growth despite fewer visitors from Russia and Finland • Challenges and opportunities in 2017 Estonia has been an attractive tourist destination Estonia has been rather successful..
Flash comment: Latvia
September 08, 2016
Consumer prices in August enter the twilight zone
Consumer prices decreased by 0.7% in August compared to July, but remained unchanged compared to August last year. After a small increase in annual inflation in July (0.1% yoy), consumer prices enter the twilight zone in August with 0% annual infla..
Flash comment: Lithuania
September 08, 2016
Annual inflation accelerated to 0.8% in August
Annual consumer price growth accelerated to 0.8% in August, while average annual inflation picked up to 0.4%. Higher prices of lottery tickets, restaurant services, tobacco products and vegetables contributed most to annual inflation, while the ..
Flash comment: Estonia
September 08, 2016
Long-awaited investment growth is starting to take off
Statistics Estonia revised second-quarter annual GDP growth 0.2 percentage points up to 0.8%. Regular revision of last four years was also published and led to changes in real growth rates of previous years. 2012-2014 GDP growth was revised down 0...
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
September 07, 2016
The housing affordability index increased to 159.6 in Tallinn and 171.3 in Riga, but decreased to 128.1 in Vilnius
In Tallinn, affordability rose by 8.3 points in the second quarter this year compared with the same period in 2015, due to a rapid rise in net wages and modest apartment price growth. In Riga, the HAI increased by 19 points, mainly due to a 6.9% ..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 31, 2016
Latvian economy slows down in 2016 as investment slumps
• Q-o-q swda growth revised up to 0.6% in Q2 • Y-o-y nsa growth at 2.1% in Q2 • Swedbank GDP forecast revised down to 2.1% for 2016 The GDP grew 0.6% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, which is faster than indicated by the flas..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 30, 2016
Excessive wage growth continues
• Wage growth remained rapid in the second quarter at around 8%, over the year. • We expect average gross wage to rise by around 5% in 2017. In the 2nd quarter of 2016, the average monthly gross wage was 1,163 euros in Estonia, up by 7.6% over..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 30, 2016
Average gross wage up by 3.3% year-on-year in Q2 2016
• Gross wage growth decelerated to 3.3% in Q2 2016 • Wage growth has become more volatile • Wage growth forecast at about 5-6% this year Average gross wage growth continued slowing down in the second quarter of 2016, partly owing to a much slowe..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 26, 2016
Wage growth accelerated to 8.1% in Q2
In the second quarter of this year annual nominal growth of gross wages accelerated to 8.1%, while real net wages increased by 7.7%. Wage growth was driven by continued rise in the demand for qualified labour force and shrinking supply of such empl..
Lithuanian Economy
August 17, 2016
Is the Lithuanian manufacturing sector losing steam?
Some industries are winning, some are losingExport performance – a mixed pictureSustaining competitiveness is becoming challenging Some industries are winning, some are losing
Flash comment: Estonia
August 12, 2016
Participation rate increased even further
The number of inactive decreased by 19,000 people, over the year, in the second quarter of this year. In addition to tight labour market, inactivity declined due to state reforms – an increase in the retirement age and the rearrangement of the soci..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 12, 2016
Employment growth – stronger than expected
Unemployment dropped to 8.0% in the second quarter this year – 1.4 pp lower than a year ago despite record high activity rate. Annual employment growth was at 2.3% and employment rate reached new record. The number of labour force increased by 0.8%..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 11, 2016
Deceleration of economic growth was expected
According to the flash estimate of Statistics Estonia, GDP growth in Estonia decelerated to 0.6% in the second quarter of 2016 (in the first quarter, Estonian economy grew by 1.7%). Deceleration of the growth rate was expected. First quarter eco..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 08, 2016
Six months spell of annual consumer price deflation ends in July
Compared to June, consumer prices shrunk by 0.3%, but were up 0.1% annually. This ended a six month long annual deflation spell in consumer prices. On monthly basis, among the key drivers were the Value Added Tax raise for housing services that pus..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 29, 2016
GDP growth accelerates slightly in 2Q
The Latvian economy accelerated slightly in the second quarter this year, after a temporary soft patch. According to the flash estimate, GDP grew by 0.4% quarterly (swda). Growth remained at quite modest 2.1% (nsa) on an annual comparison. Growth..
Flash comment: Lithuania
July 29, 2016
GDP growth slowed down temporary to 1.8% in Q2
According to the flash estimate, annual GDP growth slowed down to 1.8% in the second quarter of this year and was below our expectations. Previous quarter growth was revised up from 2.3% to 2.4%. Quarterly growth decelerated from 0.9% in the first ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
July 11, 2016
Positive average annual inflation in June
In June consumer prices increased by 0.1% compared with May and were 0.7% higher than a year ago. Average annual inflation was at 0.1% and was positive for the first time since 2014. In a month prices of goods decreased by 0.2%, while prices ..
Estonian Economy
July 08, 2016
Housing market risks diluted
The surge in supply has almost halted price growthConstruction sector investments lowReal estate prices relative to income stay below 12-year average Price – it is all about demand and supply In the first quarter of 2016, price growth of apartmen..
Flash comment: Estonia
July 07, 2016
Consumer prices continued to decline in the first half of 2016
• Cheaper energy and food behind the decline in prices • Price growth is expected to be flat in 2016 In June 2016, consumer prices decreased by 0.4%, year on year, in Estonia. Goods were 0.6% and services 0.1% cheaper compared to one year ag..
Macro Focus
June 28, 2016
UK votes to leave EU - impact on the Baltic countries
With 52% of UK voting to leave over 48% wishing to stay in, history is being made as we speak, and the United Kingdom will be the first country to leave the EU since its formation. As we expected, the Brexit decision brought about the drop in ..
Lithuanian Economy
June 20, 2016
Innovation – most room for progress
Lithuania is still a low- to medium – value-added economyHigher spending on R&D is no guarantee for successLow FDI, universities, and education are the most to blame Not a high-tech country… Despite some positive recent examples, the country s..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
June 10, 2016
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 132.3 in Vilnius, 166.5 in Riga, and 153.7 in Tallinn
• In Tallinn, affordability rose by 10.1 points in the first quarter this year compared with the same period in 2015 due to an 8.5% rise in net wages and almost stable apartment prices. • In Riga, the HAI increased by 15.1 points, due to a 4.6% dro..
Flash comment: Estonia
June 09, 2016
Acceleration of the economic growth was not broad based
Statistics Estonia did not revise the GDP growth of 1Q2016 with its second estimate: it remained 1.7% yoy and flat qoq (swda) in real terms. Despite the fall in prices, GDP growth reached to 3% in nominal terms (2.5% in 2015). Despite the accelerat..
Estonian Economy
June 04, 2016
Who will pay for our pensions?
• Estonia’s workforce is shrinking and ageing rapidly • Employment’s contribution to growth largely exhausted • Shrinking and ageing population will pressure the labour market and public finance Estonia’s workforce is shrinking and ageing ..
Lithuanian Economy
June 03, 2016
GDP growth is accelerating, but how much more potential is there?
• Setback in investments – probably temporary • Getting closer to bottlenecks in the labour market… but not there yet • Households are doing better, but are we on the right track for it to last long enough? Setback in investments – probably ..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 31, 2016
Slower growth than last year, but no recession
The Latvian economy continues to grow, although slower+0.1% QoQ swda, 2.1% YoY nsa in 1Q 20163% growth forecast for 2016, but it can be a bit slowerIn line with our expectations revised GDP data were a bit better than shown by the flash estimate. N..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 30, 2016
Annual gross wage up by 5.3% in 1Q 2016
Gross wage growth decelerated to 5.3% in 1Q 2016Wage growth forecast at about 6% this yearConsumption remain rather cautiousAs expected, gross wage growth decelerated in the beginning of 2016, partly owing to a much slower increase in minimum wage ..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 25, 2016
Purchasing power increased by almost 10%
• Wage growth accelerated further in the first quarter. • A surge in purchasing power supports consumption but hurts enterprises’ profitability. In the 1st quarter of 2016, the average monthly gross wage was 1,091 euros in Estonia, up by 8.1%..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 25, 2016
Wage growth accelerated to 6.9% in Q1
In the first quarter of this year annual nominal growth of gross wages accelerated to 6.9%, while real net wages increased by 6.3%. Wage growth was driven by continued rise in the demand for qualified labour force and shrinking supply of such emplo..
Macro Focus
May 25, 2016
Brexit: A bumpy road ahead
No minimum threshold for voter participation Brexit supporters more determined to vote Volatile financial markets likely this summer – Bremain would only give temporary relief “I think a lot of people might think: ‘Well, in the end, it’s the rat..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 18, 2016
The unemployment rate up to 10.3% in 1Q 2016
The unemployment rate up to 10.3% in 1Q 2016 (10.2% a year ago)Employment up by 0.6% annuallyThe unemployment rate to decline to 9.2% this year on averageWith slower economic growth in Latvia a heatup of the labour market is delayed as well. Latvia..
Macro Focus
May 18, 2016
Finland: climbing up along a flat surface
Finland’s GDP growth is expected to recover in 2016-2017. Worsening situation on the labour market increases burden on public finances and reduces potential output growth. Government’s austerity programme restrains economic growth in the short term..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 13, 2016
Labour market data stronger than expected
• In Q1 2016, employment increased due to a higher number of part-time workers. • Unemployment rate was slightly smaller than one year ago. • We still expect unemployment rate to grow and employment to decline a bit in 2016. First quarter’s ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 13, 2016
Better than expected Q1 – unemployment down to 8.3%
Unemployment dropped to 8.3% in the first quarter this year –1.7 pp lower than a year ago despite record high activity rate. Annual employment growth accelerated to 2.5% and employment rate reached all time high. The number of labour force increase..
Lithuanian Economy
May 13, 2016
Greying Lithuania – policy action required on all fronts
Population of Lithuania is ageing rapidly Challenges to public finance and economy, but also new business opportunitiesHigher employment rates and immigration would yield positive results, but innovation is crucial Population of Lithuania is agein..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 12, 2016
Acceleration of GDP growth was expected
According to the flash estimate of Statistics Estonia, GDP growth in Estonia accelerated to 1.7% yoy in 1Q 2016, while compared to the previous quarter (seasonally and working day adjusted) remained flat. On the supply side, continued robust growth..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 10, 2016
Annual CPI deflation at 0.8% in April
In April consumer prices increased by 0.4%, mostly owing to seasonal increase in the prices of clothing and footwear (by 6.2%) and more expensive fuel (3.2%). Prices were still by 0.8% lower than a year ago, and currently it seems that the deflat..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 09, 2016
Annual inflation at 1% in April
In April consumer prices increased by 0.5% compared with March and were 1% higher than a year ago. Average annual deflation declined to 0.1%.
Macro Focus
May 09, 2016
Brexit: how much of a hit to the Baltics?
We expect the UK to stay in the EU; possibility of Brexit at 40% Financial market stress, impediments to trade, and political instability in case of Brexit… … imply risen monetary policy uncertainty and slower growth in the Baltics and the euro ..
Estonian Economy
May 03, 2016
Manufacturing sector investment dynamics
Despite the gradual drop since 2014, investments’ share in Estonian GDP still the largest in euro areaMore investments needed in manufacturing sectorWood sector makes the largest positive contribution to manufacturing sector investment growth. In..
Flash comment: Latvia
April 29, 2016
GDP up by 1.8% YoY in 1Q 2016
Technically, the Latvian economy is now in recession…... but it feels only in few industriesWe still forecast 3% growth for 2016 overallAccording to the flash estimate the Latvian economy decreased by 0.1% in quarterly terms (swda) in the first qua..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 29, 2016
GDP growth increased to 2.2% in Q1
According to the flash estimate, annual GDP growth increased to 2.2% in the first quarter of this year, in line with our expectations. Previous quarter growth was revised up from 1.9% to 2%. Growth was mainly driven by household consumption as ..
Macro Focus
April 29, 2016
Bank of Japan: wait and see
• BoJ’s monetary policy stance unchanged for now • Further easing is expected this summer • BoJ will be forced to do more to avoid the deflation trap BoJ surprised the markets again Despite lowering its inflation and GDP forecasts again t..
Macro Focus
April 26, 2016
Brexit: A hit to SEK and Swedish services
Swedish service sector particularly vulnerable to a Brexit Loss of main ally would marginalize Swedish influence in the EU Weaker SEK and temporary stress in financial markets
Flash comment: Latvia
April 08, 2016
Annual CPI deflation at 0.6% in March
Consumer prices in March were by 0.7% higher compared with February and by 0.6% lower than a year ago. In a month prices increased mostly due to a seasonal increase in the prices of clothing (by 9.8%) and footwear (by 10.5%), and due to more expe..
Flash comment: Estonia
March 10, 2016
Economic growth slowed to 1.1% in 2015
• In 2015, economic growth amounted to 1.1% in Estonia as the volumes of stocks and exports decreased. • We expect GDP growth to accelerate to 2.3% in 2016 on the back of higher exports and investments. In 2015, economic growth reached 1.1% in ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
March 08, 2016
Annual inflation at 0.9% in February, more price pressures ahead
In February consumer prices were 0.3% lower compared with January and 0.9% higher than a year ago. Average annual deflation declined to 0.5%. In a month prices decreased mostly due to seasonal sales of cloths and footwear. Annual deflation was ..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
March 08, 2016
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 129.2 in Vilnius, 160.1 in Riga, and 153.4 in Tallinn
In Tallinn, affordability rose by 4.2 points in the fourth quarter last year compared with the same period in 2014, mainly due to a 6.6 % rise in net wages, which continued to surpass the apartment price growth. In Riga, the HAI increased by 4.7 ..
Flash comment: Estonia
March 04, 2016
Wage growth at around 6% for the second year in a row in 2015
Average monthly gross wage increased by 6.0%, net wage in real terms by 8.0% in 2015 We expect average gross wage and real net wage to grow by around 5% in 2016 Average monthly gross wage amounted to 1,065 euros in 2015, +6.0% compared with 201..
Macro Focus
March 04, 2016
Lithuanian labour market – so far so good, but challenges are increasing
Last year, GDP growth was mostly driven by very strong domestic demand. Rapid real wage bill growth and better expectations fuelled household consumption, while high capacity utilisation, sagging competitiveness, and abundant financial resources fo..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 29, 2016
GDP growth at 2.7% in 2015
GDP annual growth slowed to 2.7% in 4Q 2015, making 2.7% for 2015 overall GDP down by 0.3% on a quarterly basis (seasonally adjusted) Growth to accelerate this year Economic growth slowed slightly in the last quarter of 2015. Namely, GDP grew..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 26, 2016
Annual gross wage up by 6.8% in 2015
Gross wage growth accelerated slightly to 7.4% in 4Q 2015 (from 7.3% in 3Q) Average gross wage up by 6.8%, real net wage grew by 7.4% in 2015 Wage growth to remain strong this and next year Gross average wage growth in the last quarter of 2015 a..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 23, 2016
The unemployment rate gradually decreasing
The unemployment rate down to 9.8% in 4Q 2015, compared to 10.2% a year ago Employment up by 1.3% last year, partly supported by an increase in the number of economically active individuals The unemployment rate expected to continue to gradually ..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 12, 2016
Unemployment rate on the rise
• Employment and unemployment both increased in Q4 of 2015. • In 2016, we expect unemployment rate to grow and employment to decline a bit. Unemployment rate increased a bit to 6.4% in the last quarter of 2015 (6.2% in 2015 as a whole). The numbe..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 11, 2016
Weak export demand behind the sluggish economic growth
According to the flash estimate of Statistics Estonia, GDP grew by 0.7% yoy in Estonia in 4Q 2015. The growth rate met our expectations. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP grew by 1.2% (seasonally and working day adjusted). In 2015, GDP grew by ..
Macro Focus
February 08, 2016
Poland – strong economic growth, but questionable policies may hurt its potential
Poland’s economy proved to be resilient to negative external shocks last year. Strong domestic demand, an expansionary fiscal policy, and stronger growth in export markets should further fuel GDP growth. However, the newly elected right-wing gov..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 29, 2016
Annual GDP growth at 3% in 4Q 2015
GDP annual growth slowed to 3% in 4Q 2015, making 2.8% for 2015 overall0% quarterly growth seasonally adjusted3.3% growth forecast for 2016GDP flash estimate published by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia showed that annual economic growth s..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 29, 2016
GDP increased by 1.6% in 2015
According to the flash estimate, annual GDP growth accelerated to 2.0% in the fourth quarter of last year, in line with our expectations. Previous quarter growth remained unchanged at 1.7%. Growth was mainly driven by household consumption as re..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 12, 2016
Consumer prices increased by 0.2% in 2015
Goods’ prices down by 0.7%, prices of services up by 2.6% on average in 2015 Annual inflation supported by more expensive electricity while limited by cheaper oil Inflation expected to accelerate this year, but will remain moderate Consumer prices..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 11, 2016
Prices dropped by 0.9% in 2015, inflation will return this year
In December consumer prices were 0.3% lower compared with November and 0.1% lower than a year ago. Average annual deflation was at 0.9% in 2015. In December, compared with a month ago, prices decreased mainly due to 0.8% cheaper food and non-a..
Flash comment: Estonia
January 08, 2016
Consumer prices decreased by 0.5% in 2015
• Cheaper energy behind the decline in prices • Inflation expected at around 1% in 2016 Consumer prices decreased by 0.5% in Estonia in 2015. Consumer prices declined due to lower energy prices. Motor fuels were 14%, heat energy 4%, and electrici..
Macro Focus
December 18, 2015
Finland: Still in tunnel, but light at the end
Recovery of Finland’s economic growth in 2016-2017 will be sluggish and will be supported primarily by improving investments and exports. However, a decreasing labour force, weak investments, and falling profitability are reducing Finland’s potenti..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
December 16, 2015
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 130.9 in Vilnius, 159.8 in Riga, and 146.8 in Tallinn
In Tallinn, affordability rose by 4.9 points in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2014, mainly due to a 7.9% rise in net wages, which was higher than apartment price growth for the first time since 2012. In Riga, th..
Flash comment: Estonia
December 10, 2015
Economic growth in Estonia decelerates sharply in the 2H2015
According to the second estimate by the Statistics Estonia, the GDP growth in Estonia decelerated to 0.7% yoy in 3Q2015, while compared to the previous quarter the GDP decreased by 0.4% (seasonally and working-day adjusted). Primarily construction,..
Flash comment: Latvia
December 08, 2015
Annual CPI inflation at 0% in November
Goods’ prices down by 0.8%, prices of services up by moderate 2.2% Prices stable in monthly terms The average inflation is expected to accelerate to 1.5% in 2016 and to 2.3% in 2017 Consumer prices in November were stable both compared to prev..
Baltic Sea Region Report
December 02, 2015
Geopolitical challenges require closer collaboration
Cooperate more to grow more Income inequality and poverty: is a higher minimum wage the best answer? Taxes in the Baltics: which way forward? Cooperate more to grow more Russia is in the midst of a recession, while the rest of the Baltic Sea r..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 30, 2015
Annual GDP growth accelerated to 3.3% in 3Q 2015
GDP annual growth accelerated to 3.3% in 3Q 2015 (flash estimate showed 2.5%)Investments and household consumption soaredThe growth might be slightly above 2.4% forecast in November The Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSBL) revised substantia..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 27, 2015
Annual gross wage growth accelerated to 7.3% in 3Q
Average gross wage grew by 7.3% in 3Q 2015 (up from 6.4% in 2Q) Average real net wage was up by 8.3% in 3Q 2015 Wage growth to remain strong this and next two years According to the data by Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), gross average wage gr..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 26, 2015
Wage growth accelerated
• Wage growth picked up as labour market tightened further in the third quarter • Remarkable surge in employees’ purchasing power supports consumption According to Statistics Estonia, average wage amounted to 1,045 euros, up by 6.9% annually. As ..
Macro Focus
November 25, 2015
ECB quantitative easing (QE) – update for the Baltics
The ECB signalled for more modifications of the QE programmeBaltic central banks’ purchases skewed to supranationalsImpact on real economies to remain rather limited in the Baltics
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 24, 2015
Wage growth accelerated to 5.5% in Q3. More to come.
In the third quarter of this year annual nominal growth of gross wages accelerated to 5.5%. Meanwhile, real net wages increased by 6.2% as prices decreased this year. Wage growth was driven by continued rise in demand for the qualified labour force..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 13, 2015
Labour market has tightened further
Finding suitable labour is increasingly difficult for Estonian employers, therefore, wage pressures persist even when enterprises sales and profits have decreased. Labour shortage was perceived as the biggest business constraint among the 18% of se..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 13, 2015
Unemployment dropped to 8.3% in Q3 due to shrinking labour force
Even though employment growth stalled, as expected, unemployment dropped to 8.3% in the third quarter this year – 1.1 percentage point (pp) lower than a in the second quarter and 0.8 pp lower than a year ago. Youth unemployment declined to 15.3% (1..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 11, 2015
GDP growth smaller than expected
GDP growth slowed more than expected, from 1.9% in the second quarter to 0.5% in the third quarter, year on year. Quarter-on-quarter change in GDP volumes was negative: -0.5%. During the first 9 months of the year, GDP in Estonia grew by 1.3%. Ec..
Latvian Economy
November 10, 2015
Where to look for more tax revenues?
To meet its growing spending needs, the government will aim to collect more tax revenues as a percent of GDP Extensive research suggests that a good tax system should strive to be neutral, progressive, and growth-friendly A proposal for Latvia: r..
Flash comment: Latvia
October 30, 2015
Annual GDP growth at 2.5% in 3Q 2015
GDP annual growth slowed down slightly, to 2.5% in 3Q 2015 Growth was likely broad based It seems that the growth in 2015 will be slightly faster than 2.1% forecasted in August In line with our expectations, the economic growth in the third quar..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 30, 2015
GDP growth strengthened to 1.8% in Q3
According to the flash estimate, annual GDP growth accelerated to 1.8% in the third quarter of this year, in line with our expectations. Quarterly seasonally adjusted GDP growth increased to 0.5%. Value added growth in construction, manufacturi..
Lithuanian Economy
October 12, 2015
Investments – rays of hope, but still insufficient
• Sufficient reasons and means for higher investments • Investment growth recovered despite weak expectations • Uncertainty regarding growth remains Sufficient reasons and means for higher investments Investment in Lithuania not only signifi..
Latvian Economy
October 06, 2015
An alarm bell for cost competitiveness
Following the post-crisis gains, cost competitiveness has again deteriorated during the last couple of yearsIt seems that export market shares have levelled offProductivity is the key to competitiveness, but how to enhance it? Following the post-c..
Estonian Economy
September 22, 2015
Risks at the housing market
• Growth of house prices one of the fastest in Europe • House prices have grown faster than households’ incomes • Surge in supply should slow future price growth Growth of house prices one of the fastest in Europe Of the 27 countries Eurostat ..
Flash comment: Latvia
September 08, 2015
Annual CPI inflation at 0.1% in August
Goods’ prices down by 0.7%, prices of services up by moderate 2.4% Monthly deflation at 0.5% due to cheaper fuel and vegetables The average inflation is expected at 0.5% in 2015 Consumer prices declined by 0.5% in monthly terms, as expected. The ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
September 08, 2015
Deflation deepened in August, but don’t tell that to households
In August consumer prices were 0.8% lower than a month ago and it was the third consecutive monthly price decline. The biggest impact on price fall was due to cheaper transportation costs – thanks to a fall in oil prices, of course. But cheaper foo..
Flash comment: Estonia
September 08, 2015
Weak foreign demand inhibits the economic growth in Estonia
• GDP real growth 2% in the second quarter • Main contribution from private consumption, but investments decreased• Economic activities dependent on foreign demand (transportation and manufacturing) had the largest negative contribution to the GDP..
Flash comment: Estonia
September 07, 2015
Cheaper energy behind deflation
• Consumer prices dropped further in August • Cheaper energy behind the decline in prices • Inflation expected at -0.2% in 2015 and +1.9% in 2016 August deflation numbers were in line with our expectations. In August 2015, consumer price index fe..
Estonian Economy
September 07, 2015
Why worry about wage growth?
• Wage growth accelerated again • Not sustainable in the longer term • Exports have to recover Wage growth accelerated again Gross wage growth has been around or above 5% since 2011. In the first half of 2015, wages increased in almost all secto..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
September 07, 2015
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 133.2 in Vilnius, 151.8 in Riga, and 150.6 in Tallinn
In Tallinn, affordability rose marginally by 1.4 points in the second quarter this year compared with the same period in 2014, due to a 33-basis-point decrease in interest rates. In Riga, the HAI increased by 10.1 points because wage growth cont..
Flash comment: Estonia
September 01, 2015
Wage growth accelerated
• Monthly gross wages amounted to 1,082 euros, +5.8%, yoy, in Q2. • At the same time, net wages were up by 7.3% in real terms because of 0% inflation and lower labour taxes. The growth of gross wages accelerated from 4.5% in Q1 to 5.8% in Q2. Irr..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 31, 2015
Annual GDP growth at 2.3% in 1H 2015
GDP annual growth at 2.7% and quarterly growth at 1.2% (swda) in 2Q 2015Household consumption was the main growth driver, but export growth was also solid and investment growth resumedWe forecast 2.1% growth for 2015 There were no changes to the fl..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 28, 2015
Annual gross wage growth at 6.9% in 2Q 2015
Average gross wage grew by 6.9% in 2Q 2015 (up from 6.3% in 1Q)Average real net wage was up by 6.6% in 2Q 2015Household spending still seems to grow slower than incomes According to the data by Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), gross average wage g..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 25, 2015
Wage growth accelerated to 4.6% in Q2, more to come
In the second quarter of this year annual nominal growth of gross wages accelerated to 4.6%. Meanwhile, real net wages increased by 5.1% as prices decreased this year. Collapsing exports to CIS, somewhat unexpectedly, did not have, any significant ..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 14, 2015
Unemployment decreased further
• In Q2, employment up by 1.7%, yoy, and unemployment rate down to 6.5%. • In 2016, employment is expected to fall a bit. Estonia’s labour market tightened further in the second quarter, but at a slower space. The annual growth of employment slow..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 14, 2015
Unemployment dropped to 9.4% in Q2 on the back of strong employment growth
Labour market remained resilient despite the temporary slowdown in the economic growth. Unemployment dropped to 9.4% in the second quarter this year - 0.6 percentage point (pp) lower than a in the first quarter and 1.8 pp lower than a year ago. You..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 12, 2015
The unemployment rate down to 9.8% in 2Q 2015
The unemployment rate down to 9.8% in 2Q 2015, both due to job creation and negative demographic trendsEmployment grew by 1% YoY, and the employment rate rose to 60.9%More scarce labour resources motivate businesses to invest in equipment and digit..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 11, 2015
Economic growth accelerated as expected
According to the flash estimates of Statistics Estonia, GDP accelerated to 1.9% YoY in the second quarter of 2015. The seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP increased by 0.8% QoQ. The acceleration of growth was expected. Although export of good..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 10, 2015
Annual CPI inflation decelerates to 0% in July
Goods’ prices down by 1.0%, prices of services continued to increase moderately Monthly deflation at sharp 1.0% The average inflation in 2015 likely lower than the April forecast of 0.8% The monthly deflation was at sharp 1.0%, which is the swifte..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 10, 2015
Prices dropped by 0.5% in July, deflation will continue
In July prices dropped by 0.5% compared with June, whereas annual deflation remained unchanged, also at 0.5%. In July the consumer prices dropped mostly due to seasonal sales of clothes and footwear prices (-7.2%) and cheaper food products (-0.7%..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 07, 2015
Deflation continues
• Consumer prices dropped further in July • Cheaper energy prices behind the decline in prices • Inflation expected at -0.2% in 2015 (-0.1% in 2014) Consumer prices decreased further in Estonia in July. CPI fell by 0.4%, month on month, and 0.3%,..
Estonian Economy
July 30, 2015
Estonia’s exporters still struggling
• Sluggish export volumes to be expected in 2015 • Situation across sectors differs• Growth of exports expected to strengthen in 2016 Sluggish export volumes to be expected in 2015 The growth of exports has been rather modest in recent years. O..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 30, 2015
Annual GDP growth at 2.7% in 2Q 2015
According to the flash estimate by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, Latvian GDP grew by 2.7% in the second quarter of GDP comparing to a year ago (not adjusted). This is substantially swifter than in the previous quarter (1.9%) and also ab..
Latvian Economy
July 27, 2015
General government spending – how much and on what?
Without political decisions to significantly raise tax revenues as % of GDP, there is no room for major spending increasesTo spend more on prioritised areas, need to cut elsewhere (as % of GDP)Government spending should focus more on growth-friendl..
Flash comment: Estonia
July 09, 2015
Foreign trade turnover decreases
In May 2015, the turnover of exports of goods of Estonia decreased by 6% and imports by 10%, year on year. After the first five months, exports’ turnover has declined by 1% and imports’ turnover by 5%, year on year. Export sales to Russia have decl..
Macro Focus
July 07, 2015
Impact of the Russian crisis on the Baltics
Social and political concerns but no panic Collapse of exports to Russia mostly offset Recovering EU markets and circumvention of the Russian embargo mitigate the negative impact

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