Statistics office confirms end of recession

  • 2010-03-11
  • Oskars Magone

Estonia has become the first of the Baltic states to post positive growth trands and thereby be able to declare an end to the economic crisis.

TALLINN - Estonia's national statistics agency has officially confirmed that the economic crisis has come to a close in the country, which saw a return to economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

Estonia has now become the first of the Baltic states to put the recession behind it. All three countries have been among the hardest hit in the world by the crisis. 

It marks the first time since lat 2007 that the economy has seen positive growth rates.

"Compared to the 3rd quarter, the seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP increased by 2.5% in the 4th quarter. The seasonally and working-day adjusted GDP grew last in the 4th quarter of 2007," the statistics agency said.

Year-on-year, the Estonian economy still saw a 9.5% decline at the end of last year.

The statistics agency noted, however, that the numbers may be artificially inflated by a sudden stockpiling of goods that came ahead of a Jan. 1 tax hike.

"The volume of inventories was influenced by the stocking up of excise goods (especially of tobacco products) by corporations before the rise of excise taxes since the 1st January 2010. Stocking up of excise goods brought about substantially bigger receipts of excise taxes than customary, contributing to the deceleration of the decrease in the GDP," the agency said.

The EU statistics agency last week released preliminary data that also found GDP growth in the northernmost Baltic state. According to that data, Estonia's economy grew the most in the EU quarter-on-quarter at the end of last year.