Swedbank Macro Research

Baltic Archive

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

Flash comment: Latvia
September 9, 2019
Annual inflation in August reached 3.2%
In Latvia, annual inflation reached 3.2% in August 2019. It was above the average of 2018, but ranks only as third in 2019, after April and May highs. The prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco were the fastest growing (5.6% higher than the last..
Macro Focus
September 9, 2019
Euro area: Quo Vadis R*?
Demographics and productivity are the main drivers of interest rates in the upcoming decades Without an increase in potential GDP growth, interest rates will remain low and will have many unwelcome side-effects It’s more difficult to stimulate t..
Estonian Economy
September 5, 2019
The Estonian Economy - Business sector digitalisation and automation: opportunities and challenges
Business sector digitalisation: opportunities and challengesEstonia has been in the forefront of e-Government solutions, but integration of innovative digital technologies in the business sector is still below the European Union average.Estonian ma..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 30, 2019
Flash comment: Estonia - August 30, 2019
Economic growth is still strong despite weakened foreign demandIn the second quarter of 2019, Estonian GDP growth slowed to 3.6% y/y in real terms and to 7.9% y/y in nominal terms. In the first half of this year, GDP growth was 4.2% in real terms. ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 30, 2019
Still strong growth, but looming risks ahead
Against most expectations, the Lithuanian economy bucked the trend in the first half of 2019 – GDP has increased by 4% (when season and calendar adjusted) and 4.1% (without the adjustments), compared to the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, in..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 29, 2019
Wage pressures expected to ease a bit next year
Wage growth is rapid and broad-based. The average gross wage amounted to EUR 1,419, up by 7.4%, over the year, in the second quarter. Wage growth was broad-based, in terms of sectors and levels. Tax Authority’s wage data show that the average gross..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 29, 2019
Wage growth keeps up in the Q2
Despite softening economic growth and the first signs of weakening in the labour market, wages are still increasing rapidly. The annual gross wage growth remained steady at 7.8% in the second quarter. Public sector wage growth has eased this year, ..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 15, 2019
Unemployment shrinks in Q2 despite softer economic growth
Despite slower economic growth, the unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in the second quarter. It was by 1.3 percentage points lower compared to the previous year. The number of unemployed declined by 18% largely driven by shrinking working age populati..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 15, 2019
Labour shortages could ease somewhat next year
No significant changes in Q2 data According to Statistics Estonia, labour market remained tight but did not improve further in the 2nd quarter. The number of the employed and the number of the unemployed stayed at last year’s level. Employment’s ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 9, 2019
Immigration boosts labour force
Unemployment has shrunk 0.4pp in the second quarter of 2019 but was 0.2pp higher than a year ago – the first annual increase in unemployment since 2010. However, the reasons for increase in unemployment is not a sign of distress or weakening in eco..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 8, 2019
Annual inflation in July at 2.9%
Annual inflation was 2.9% in July that is below its 7 months average in 2019. Inflation of both goods and services moderated to 2.9% and 2.8% respectively. Prices of services experienced the smallest annual increase in 2019. The main drivers of ann..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 8, 2019
Average annual inflation remains steady at 2.4%
Due to the summer sales, monthly prices have decreased by 0.3% in July, whereas annual inflation remained steady for a sixth month in a row and stood at 2.4%. Prices of goods were 1.9% higher than a year ago, while prices of services grew by 4.5%. ..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 30, 2019
Annual GDP growth moderates to 2.1% in the second quarter
Economic growth continued into the second quarter, however, the annual growth rate slowed. According to the flash estimate, the quarterly GDP growth rebounded to 0.8% (seasonally and calendar adjusted), while the annual growth slowed to 2.1% (not a..
Flash comment: Lithuania
July 30, 2019
Strong and well-balanced economic growth continued in Q2
Lithuanian economy remained resilient to the global challenges and continued growing at an accelerated pace. GDP has increased by 4% (when season and calendar adjusted) and 4.1% (without the adjustments) in the second quarter of this year, compa..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 8, 2019
Annual inflation in June at 3%
In June, the annual rate of inflation continues to slow down comparing to higher rate in April, but still is at 3% level. The annual inflation rate in June was 3%, with goods’ prices rising by 3.1%, and services’ prices rising by 2.9%. The annual r..
Flash comment: Estonia
July 5, 2019
Inflation has decelerated this year
In June, inflation reached 2.4%, over the year. Goods were 1.8% and services 3.5% more expensive. Almost half of the increase in prices resulted from higher prices of food and housing. The prices of fresh vegetables have surged due to a drought las..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
June 13, 2019
In Q1 2019, the housing affordability index (HAI) increased in Vilnius, stayed unchanged in Tallinn, but decreased in Riga
In Tallinn, the HAI stayed almost unchanged (-0.1 point) at 151.9 in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the first quarter of 2018, as net wage growth was slightly slower than an increase in apartment prices and interest rates.In Riga, the HAI..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 31, 2019
Strong beginning of 2019 exceeded expectations
Strong beginning of 2019 exceeded expectationsEconomic growth remained very strong at the beginning of 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth in Estonia accelerated to 4.5% yoy in real terms and to 8.5% yoy in nominal terms. Strong first qu..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 31, 2019
Robust economic growth did not lose pace in Q1
Even though Lithuania is an open economy, greatly dependent on imports and exports, country’s growth pace shows it is still reluctant to the global challenges, such as US-China trade war and German slowdown. GDP figures show that Lithuanian econ..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 29, 2019
Wage growth has not decelerated
In the first quarter of 2019, the average full-time gross wage amounted to EUR 1341, up by 8.0%, in a year. The average gross wage increased in almost all sectors. Wage growth was more rapid in construction, where volumes have grown markedly in rec..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 28, 2019
Major gains in purchasing power due to tax reform
Wage dynamics of the last year continued in first quarter. Gross wage growth adjusted for tax reform eased by 0.3pp to 9.4%. In private sector wage growth cooled off by 1.1pp down to 7.4%. Meanwhile in public sector wage growth accelerated further ..
Macro Focus
May 21, 2019
India’s elections: more of the same will not turn India into a superpower
Prime Minister Modi’s ruling alliance is expected to win a thin majority India needs a bold economic reform agendaUntapped potential Indian PM Modi’s party is unlikely to repeat its success of the previous election of 2014, in which its coalition..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 16, 2019
The scarcity of labour keeps wage growth elevated
• The unemployment rate declined, and the employment rate slightly increased in the first quarter. • According to Swedbank’s forecast, labour market should remain tight this year, so wage pressures persist. Labour market remains tight Accordi
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 10, 2019
Employment growth exceeds expectations
Lithuanian labour market continued its strong run in the first quarter of 2019, solid economic expansion fueled demand for labour. Unemployment rate declined to 6.5%, 0.7pp lower than a year ago. Meanwhile annual employment growth was 2%, well abov..
Flash comment: Latvia
April 30, 2019
Annual GDP growth moderates to 2.8% in the first quarter
After two years of rapid growth, the economic expansion moderated at the beginning of 2019. In the first quarter, the annual GDP growth slowed to 2.8% (not seasonally and calendar adjusted) compared to 4.8% last year as a whole. The quarterly growt..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 30, 2019
Flash comment: Lithuania - April 30, 2019
The year is up to a good start. Economy expanded 3.9% annually in this first quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, season and calendar adjusted quarterly growth stood at 1%. Growth was supported by very solid domestic demand and still robust external perfor..
Flash comment: Latvia
April 8, 2019
Annual inflation stood at 2.8% in March
In March headline inflation rose by 1.1% over the month, marking a relatively sharp increase in prices compared to March in previous years. Despite that annual inflation slightly eased in March to 2.8%. Both external and internal factors determined..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 8, 2019
Annual inflation rises to 2.6% in March
In March annual inflation rose to 2.6% up from 2.1%, while monthly inflation stood at 0.9%. Prices of goods were 2% higher than a year ago, while prices of services grew by 4.3% (mostly due to rising costs of public services). Increase of monthly i..
Estonian Economy
April 8, 2019
Neighbouring countries’ impact on the Estonian economy is waning
Neighbouring countries' impact on the Estonian economy is waningFinland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia – Estonian closest neighbours – contribute about one-fifth to Estonian GDP through exports.The share of the four neighbouring countries’ tourists’ e..
Macro Focus
March 15, 2019
What central banks can do to fight climate change
Climate change poses risks to financial stability and is thus within central banks’ mandates The Bank of England is in the lead; the Federal Reserve is farthest behind Central banks should step up research, improve disclosure and assess their own b..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
March 13, 2019
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the housing affordability index (HAI) increased in all Baltic capitals on annual basis
In Tallinn, the HAI rose by 10.4 points to 161.9 as rapid wage growth outweighed growing apartment prices and interest rates.In Riga, the HAI improved by 12 points to 191.7 as wage growth outpaced apartment price growth. For new-project and renovat..
Macro Focus
March 12, 2019
Small divergence in temperature
Economy heat index for all three economies stayed below long-run average All indicators showed rising temperatures in Estonia, while Latvia and Lithuania moved sideways Tight labour markets could potentially raise heat
Flash comment: Estonia
March 1, 2019
Wage growth remains rapid and broad-based
In 2018, the average full-time gross wage amounted to EUR 1310, up by 7.3%, in a year. The average gross wage increased in all sectors. The average wage was the highest in ICT and finance. A rapid growth in the average wage is supported by a shorta..
Flash comment: Latvia
March 1, 2019
Wage growth in 2018 fastest in decade
Last year the average gross wage recorded the fastest growth in ten years. It increased by 8.4%, reaching 1004 euros. It was boosted by minimum wage hike (from 380 euros to 430 euros) and tightening labour market. The unemployment rate is at a ten ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
March 1, 2019
After steady growth last year, looming risks ahead
In the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP, seasonally adjusted quarterly growth was revised down from 1.6 to 1.3. This resulted in 3.7% annual growth in fourth quarter and overall 3.4% real GDP expansion in 2018. Consumption remained the main d..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 28, 2019
Annual GDP growth was 4.8% in 2018
Annual GDP growth in Latvia was 4.8% in 2018. It was a tad stronger than in 2017, the fastest growth in seven years and the fastest growth among the Baltic countries in 2018. It means that income convergence with the neighbours as well as other EU ..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 28, 2019
Flash comment: Estonia - February 28, 2019
2018 - another strong economic year in EstoniaIn 2018, Estonian GDP growth slowed to 3.9% in real terms and to 8.6% in nominal terms and was supported by domestic demand and strong foreign demand. The growth was still strong and only slightly excee..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 26, 2019
Public sector leads the way in wage growth
The trends in earnings continued in fourth quarter of the 2018. Annual gross wage growth declined by 0.3pp to 9.7%. The gap in in growth rates between public and private sectors widened. Public sector wages grew 12.5% annually, while those of priva..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 22, 2019
Unemployment rate in 2018 at a 10-year low
Rapid economic growth in 2018 has translated into an even tighter labour market, exacerbating labour shortages and maintaining rapid wage growth. The labour market continued to improve in a rapid pace in 2018 despite unfavourable demographic trends..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 15, 2019
Employment rate reached the highest level ever
• In 2018, the employment rate increased even more and the unemployment rate dropped further. • According to Swedbank’s forecast, labour market should remain tight this year, so wage growth will stay rapid. Labour market remains tight Accord..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 14, 2019
Monthly inflation lower despite more expensive electricity
In January inflation eased to 1.7%, while monthly inflation stood at only 0.2% despite sharp increase in electricity prices. Interestingly, prices of public good and services increased by 5% while market prices increased only by 1.2% annually. Aver..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 8, 2019
Labour force has grown in 2018
Labour market continued to tap into previously underutilised groups of population. The tightness of the labour market incentivises companies to look for employees among the young and the elderly. Similarly, previously inactive people seem to be dra..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 31, 2019
Annual GDP records strong 5% growth in Q4 2018
The economic growth remained very strong in Latvia at the end of last year. According to the flash estimate, the quarterly GDP growth slightly decelerated, recording still strong 1.1% (seasonally and calendar adjusted) growth, and the annual growth..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 30, 2019
A superb finish to a good year
Lithuanian economy grew at 3.5% (3.6% seasonally adjusted) annually in 2018, very much in line with our expectations. Economic expansion was supported by solid domestic consumption, active investments and surprisingly strong external sector in a wa..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 11, 2019
Average annual inflation was 2.5% in 2018
Average annual inflation was 2.5% in 2018 driven largely by external factors. Transport and housing goods and services accounted for approximately half of the price growth, owing mainly to higher energy prices. Despite Brent crude oil price per bar..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 9, 2019
Annual inflation sharply decelerates in December
Due to the retreat in the oil prices and Christmas sales prices decreased by 0.6% in December and annual inflation dropped to 1.9%. Prices of goods were 1% higher than a year ago, while prices of services grew by 4.3%. Housing, electricity and fue..
Flash comment: Estonia
January 8, 2019
Inflation reached 3.4% in 2018
• Inflation amounted to 3.4% in December and for 2018 as a whole. • In 2019, price growth is expected to slow to 2.8% as energy prices should stabilise and the planned hike of the excise tax on alcohol is cancelled. Inflation stayed at 3.4% in 2..
Macro Focus
December 19, 2018
Economic temperatures are converging in the Baltics
The Baltic economies will greet the New Year in a balanced state Lithuania cooled slightly, while Latvia and Estonia are catching up Tight labour markets could potentially raise heat
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
December 13, 2018
Housing affordability index improved in all three Baltic capitals in the third quarter of 2018
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 134.3 in Vilnius, 186.0 in Riga, and 154.3 in Tallinn. In Tallinn, the HAI rose by 5.8 points in the third quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017, as rapid wage growth outweighed gr..
Macro Focus
December 11, 2018
How much havoc could Brexit bring?
No matter Brexit outcome, trade with the UK will continue but the magnitude of it will depend on future agreement. Over time, however, supply chains and trade patterns could change, making it harder to predict flows of goods and services. If a Brex..
Flash comment: Latvia
December 10, 2018
Annual inflation at 3% in November
Annual inflation rate eased slightly in November to 3%, growing above 3% in the two preceding months. Prices of both goods and services also grew by 3% on annual basis. The main drivers of annual price growth in November were transport, housing and..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 30, 2018
Economic growth accelerates to 4.2% yoy in the third quarter
In the third quarter, Estonian GDP growth accelerated to 4.2% yoy in real terms. Compared to the previous quarter GDP increased 0.4%, seasonally and working day corrected. In nominal terms, GDP increased 9.5% in the third quarter and 8.5% ytd.Econo..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 30, 2018
Annual GDP growth at 4.7% in the third quarter in Latvia
Revised data show slightly lower growth than the flash estimate suggested in the third quarter of 2018. GDP grew by 4.7% in annual terms while seasonally and calendar adjusted growth was even stronger at 5.3%. As growth in construction eased (10%..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 30, 2018
GDP revised upwards for the third quarter
As we expected, quarterly GDP growth has been revised up by one decimal point to -0.3% (SA) in the second GDP estimate. Annual growth has clocked in at 2.4%, two decimal points higher than reported initially. Season and calendar adjusted annual gro..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 29, 2018
Wage growth remains rapid and broad-based
In the third quarter, the average full-time gross wage amounted to EUR 1291, up by 7.5%, in a year. Median wage reached EUR 1000, +10.0%, over the year, according to the Tax Board. The average gross wage increased in all sectors, except for ad..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 29, 2018
Wage growth decelerated to 8% in Q3 in Latvia
In the third quarter, the average gross monthly wage was at 1006 euros, up by 8% compared to the same period a year ago. The wage growth was largely driven by pronounced labour shortage, minimum wage hike at the beginning of the year (by 50 euros),..
Macro Focus
November 27, 2018
Time to replace Merkel as leader of the center-right CDU
Top candidates provide different direction for CDU in the future The government parties struggle in polls, while the Greens party surges Whoever wins, the new leader will face tough political and economic decisions The battle to inherit Angela M..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 26, 2018
Rapid wage growth continues
Annual gross wage growth decelerated very slightly to 10% down from 10.5% a quarter ago. Private sector wage growth slowed to 9.3% from 10.4% annually. Meanwhile public sector wages accelerated further to 11.3% annually. Net wages increased by 9%, ..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 16, 2018
Unemployment decline accelerated in Q3
• Unemployment rate down to 7% • Employment up by 1.9% annually • Number of economically active up by 0.2% annually • Labour shortages remain elevated Ongoing economic expansion continues driving demand for labour. Labour market conditions tigh..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 14, 2018
The shortage of labour keeps wage growth rapid
• The shortage of labour is on the same level as in the years of the previous economic boom.• During the next two years, according to Swedbank’s forecast, the gross wage growth should stay at 5-6%, employment rate will remain high and unemployment ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 9, 2018
Employment continues rising
Despite the shrinking working-age population the labour market in Lithuania continues to surprise on the upside. The number of employed increased by 1.5%, compared to the same period a year ago, thanks largely to rising employment of men. The unemp..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 9, 2018
Higher oil prices boost inflation
Annual inflation accelerated to 2.9% in October compared to 2.4% in September. On a monthly basis prices grew by 0.6%. Core inflation excluding food, energy, alcohol and tobacco accelerated to 1.9% up from 1.8%. The main factor determining price d..
Flash comment: Latvia
October 30, 2018
Annual GDP growth at 4.8% in the third quarter
According to the flash estimate, Latvian economy expanded by 4.8% in Q3 compared to the same period in the previous year (seasonally and calendar unadjusted data). Quarterly growth was exceptionally strong at 1.8% (seasonally and calendar adjusted ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 30, 2018
An unexpected slump in growth
Lithuanian economy disappointed in the third quarter of 2018. Annual GDP growth decelerated from 3.8% in the second quarter to 2.2% in the third. In seasonally and calendar adjusted terms, in the third quarter GDP increased by 2.7% annually and dec..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 26, 2018
Nowcast points to faster GDP growth in Q3
The official GDP estimates come out with a substantial lag, but it is possible to determine the current level of economic activity using other indicators. Swedbank economists have developed a tool that allows to predict the current and near future ..
Macro Focus
October 16, 2018
The temperature is slowly rising in the Baltic economies
The Baltic economies are operating above their potential No overheating, but economic temperature is rising gradually Monitoring, fiscal prudence, and productivity-boosting reforms are necessary The Baltic economies are now fully recovered fro..
Flash comment: Latvia
October 8, 2018
Annual inflation surpasses 3% in September
Annual inflation exceeded 3% for the first time in more than a year, reaching 3.2% in September. The main contributors to the annual inflation rate in the past few months have been prices of goods. Categories with the largest contributions to the p..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 8, 2018
A slight pick up in price growth
Annual inflation has rebounded to 2.4% from 2.1% in August. Compared with August prices grew by 1.3%. Several main factors determined price growth recently. First of all, prices of energy products are increasing globally. Automobile fuel and solid ..
Flash comment: Estonia
October 5, 2018
Inflation remained above 3% in September
Inflation rate has fluctuated between 3% and 4% in recent months. Annual change in consumer prices amounted to 3.7% in September. Among different product groups, the prices of everyday essentials, i.e., housing, food, transport, have been contribut..
Latvian Economy
October 4, 2018
Latvia's labour market under pressure
Latvia’s labour market is showing some signs of overheating. Although competitiveness pressures are present, they are way below record highs seen in the pre-crisis period. The ongoing economic expansion has brought unemployment rate considerably..
Macro Focus
September 21, 2018
Middle class in the Baltics
The Baltics get closer to the Western middle class income standard, but income inequality remains an issueA strong and well-off middle class, a sign of lower income inequality, important for economic growth Middle class incomes have grown substanti..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
September 20, 2018
Housing affordability index improved in Riga and Vilnius but fell in Tallinn in the second quarter 2018
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 184.8 in Riga and 131.7 in Vilnius, but decreased to 156.3 in Tallinn.In Tallinn, the HAI fell by 3.1 points in the second quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017, as apartment price..
Flash comment: Lithuania
September 10, 2018
Inflation continues to ease despite rapid wage growth
Annual inflation eased to 2.1% in August and was the lowest since January 2017. Annual core inflation (without food and energy) stood at a modest 1.5%. The growth of consumer goods prices slowed down to 1.6% in August, while the pace services price..
Flash comment: Latvia
September 3, 2018
Annual GDP growth at 5.3% in the second quarter
Revised data show even a bit stronger economic growth in the second quarter than the flash estimate suggested. GDP expanded by 5.3% in annual terms, but seasonally and calendar adjusted growth was at more modest 4.4%. Nominal GDP growth reached a w..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 31, 2018
Estonian GDP growth accelerated to 3.7% in the 2nd quarter
Estonian GDP growth accelerated to 3.7% in the 2nd quarterReal GDP growth in Estonia accelerated to 3.7% yoy in the second quarter of 2018. The growth was stronger than in the first quarter (3.3%). In the first half, GDP growth was 3.5% in real ..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 28, 2018
Wage growth decelerated in the 2nd quarter
• In the second quarter, the average full-time gross wage amounted to EUR 1321, up by 6.4%, in a year. • Swedbank expects gross wage to grow by 6.6% in 2018 and by 6.0% in 2019 • Consumption remains moderate Wage growth decelerated as expect..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 27, 2018
Wage growth accelerates yet again
Gross wage growth surged to 10.5% in the second quarter of the 2018 again breaking the record for the post-crisis period. The average net wage grew a bit more timidly at 9.5% annually because non-taxable income allowance for children was replaced w..
Estonian Economy
August 22, 2018
The Estonian Economy - Is the housing market overheating?
Is the housing market overheating?Although housing affordability in Estonia has improved, compared with the peak of the last real estate boom, it has stayed at the same level for the past four years.Households’ confidence in purchasing or buildi..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 14, 2018
Second quarter’s unemployment rate the lowest in 10 years
• Employment rose rapidly but only among the part-time workers • The unemployment rate decreased more than expected • The shortage of labour has reached the levels of last economic boom Employment rose rapidly but only among the part-time wo..
Macro Focus
August 13, 2018
New sanctions against Russia
Limited impact on real economy from currently introduced sanctions, although some volatility in financial markets Recent weakening of the RUB and decline in stock market is probably an overreaction (i.e. not so much about the currently introduced ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 10, 2018
Unemployment rate at its lowest in almost a decade
The rapidly growing economy and high wage growth did not go unnoticed in the labour market. The rate of unemployment dropped to 5.9% in the second quarter of this year and was 1.1 pp lower than a year ago. This was the lowest rate of unemployment s..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 8, 2018
Annual inflation stood at 2.6% in July
Annual inflation rate in July was 2.6%, a tad slower than in June. Although price growth differed across various categories, overall price growth of goods and services remained moderate and similar to that in June. Goods’ prices grew by 2.4% on ann..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 31, 2018
Annual GDP growth picks up to 5.1% in the second quarter
Economic growth picked up to 5.1% in annual terms in the second quarter of 2018. However, note that it was partly contributed by larger number of working days. Calendar adjusted GDP grew at a more moderate pace, 4.2%. Moreover, adjusted data show a..
Flash comment: Lithuania
July 30, 2018
GDP growth retains pace and grows 3.7% in Q2
Annual GDP growth kept its fast pace in Q2 - the economy increased by 3.7%. In quarterly terms, the economy grew by 0.9% (seasonally and calendar adjusted). The main drivers of growths in the second quarter were most likely consumption and invest..
Macro Focus
July 12, 2018
Global trade wars and their impact on the Baltic countries
What is the current state of trade tensions? What is the most likely future scenario? How vulnerable are Baltic economies and what is the likely impact? Last year was marked with rising global economic growth, improving confidence and expectat..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 10, 2018
Annual inflation accelerates to 2.8% in June
June has marked the fastest annual inflation rate this year. Annual inflation reached 2.8% in June. Annual growth of goods’ prices accelerated to 2.5% while service prices grew by 3.3%, a similar rate as before. In the months to come annual inflati..
Macro Focus
June 28, 2018
Swedbank’s Sustainability Indicators for the Nordics and the Baltics
Sweden leads in environmental protection but lags Nordic peers in other areas No Nordic country on track to meet environmental goals in Agenda 2030 All Nordic countries perform well on governance and on social inclusion Swedbank’s Sustainabili..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
June 8, 2018
Housing affordability index improved in Tallinn and Riga but worsened in Vilnius in the first quarter 2018
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 182.0 in Riga and 152.0 in Tallinn, but decreased to 133.1 in Vilnius. • In Tallinn, the HAI rose by 5.9 points in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017, as very rapid wa..
Macro Focus
June 4, 2018
Italian politics: fire is out, but smoke still there
Italian bond yields have come down, as the government has been approved by the president, but future policy remains very uncertain. Confrontation with the EU, reversing past reforms, expansion of fiscal deficit could again ignite fear and volatilit..
Flash comment: Latvia
June 1, 2018
Economic growth boosted by construction in the first quarter
• Quarterly GDP growth at 1.6% (s.a.), annual growth at 4.2% (n.s.a) in the first quarter • Economic growth remains strong and broad-based, with only finance and transport sectors in red • Surge in construction and associated investment increase ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
June 1, 2018
Strong and well-balanced economic growth continues in Q1
Revised GDP figures show that the Lithuanian economy sustained the growth momentum and in annual terms increased by 3.7% in the first quarter of this year. Compared to the last quarter of 2017, GDP was 0.9% higher (in seasonally and working-day adj..
Macro Focus
June 1, 2018
Nordic and Baltic economies vulnerable to US trade tariffs
US steel and aluminium tariffs to worsen business sentiment, but small direct effect on growth in the Nordics and the BalticsThere are no winners in a trade war – tariffs will hurt the US as much as the EUThe direct effects on exports and imports a..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 31, 2018
Deceleration of economic growth in 1Q2018 was expected
GDP growth in Estonia decelerated to 3.6% yoy in 1Q2018 in real terms. The slowdown was expected, as close to 5% growth in 2017 was above the potential, by far. Nominal GDP growth decelerated to 8%, but it’s still very robust.Labour shortage has..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 29, 2018
Wage growth accelerated in the first quarter
• The growth of the average gross wage accelerated to 7.7%, over the year, in the first quarter of 2018. • Families’ assessment of their financial situation is the highest on record. Rapid wage growth continued in the first quarter, around 8%..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 28, 2018
Record post-crisis wage growth in Q1
The annual average gross wage growth was the fastest since the financial crisis in 2009 and stood at 9.5% in the first quarter of the year. The average net wage grew a bit slower - it increased by 8.6% due to the fact that additional income tax red..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 23, 2018
Labour market tightening continued in the first quarter
Strong economic activity supported further labour market tightening at the beginning of this year. The number of unemployed decreased by about 11 thousand or 12% in the first quarter of this year compared to a year earlier. The fall in the unemploy..
Flash comment: Estonia
May 15, 2018
Demand for labour remains strong
• Higher economic activity lifted employment. • The number of the inactive declined substantially and the unemployment rate grew due to a labour market reform. According to Statistics Estonia, employment increased by 0.6% despite a strong bas..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 11, 2018
Unemployment at 7.2 % in Q1, employment increases marginally
The unemployment rate stood at 7.2% in the first quarter of this year and was 0.8 pp lower than a year ago. Somewhat unexpectedly, the annual decline in the labour force eased to -0.8% and the decline in employment stalled (+0.1%). Despite rapid ec..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 10, 2018
Annual inflation at 2% in April
Annual inflation decreased to 2.0% in April with both prices of goods and services decelerating slightly on annual basis. Goods prices grew by 1.5% whereas service prices – by 3.3%. Global food prices have recently exhibited an upward trend owing..
Flash comment: Lithuania
May 9, 2018
Annual inflation falls to 2.3% in April
In line with our expectations annual inflation continued to ease and stood at 2.3% in April. In annual terms, prices of consumer goods and services increased by 1.5% and 4.7%, respectively. Consumer prices were 0.6% higher compared to March - month..
Flash comment: Latvia
May 2, 2018
Annual GDP growth picks up to 4.3% in the first quarter
The economic growth remained strong at the beginning of 2018. According to the first quarter flash estimates, the quarterly GDP growth was 1.7% (seasonally and calendar adjusted data), while the annual growth accelerated to 4.3% compared to 4.2% (n..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 30, 2018
GDP expands by 3.6% in the first quarter
In the first quarter of this year real GDP increased by 3.6%, in annual terms. In quarterly terms GDP grew by 0.8% (season and working-day adjusted). Strong growth is supported by solid retail growth, which accelerated to 6.7% in the 1st quarter. ..
Estonian Economy
April 25, 2018
Estonian enterprises need to put more effort in to improve their productivity growth
Estonian enterprises need to put more effort in to improve their productivity growth In a post-crisis period, the growth of Estonian labour productivity has been weakEstonian labour productivity is lower than majority of European Union member..
Flash comment: Lithuania
April 10, 2018
Annual inflation decelerates to 2.7% in March
Inflation is steadily continuing its expected path of easing with the base effect of last year’s excise duty hikes dissipating. Annual inflation dropped to 2.7% down from 3.5% in February. In March prices were higher 0.4% compared to February, main..
Flash comment: Estonia
April 6, 2018
Inflation decelerated in March
Inflation decelerated from 3.1% in February to 2.8% in March as food prices rose less than in the previous month. Regulated prices of goods and services rose by 7.5% and non-regulated prices by 1.5%, over the year, in March. Food, alcohol, and ..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
March 14, 2018
Housing affordability index improved in Riga and Vilnius, but decreased in Tallinn in the fourth quarter of 2017
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 186.3 in Riga, and 129.9 in Vilnius, but decreased to 151.5 in Tallinn. • In Tallinn, affordability decreased slightly by 0.3 point in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2..
Estonian Economy
March 12, 2018
Increasing Estonian exports’ market share in Finland will be more challenging
Increasing Estonian exports’ market share in Finland will be more challenging Estonia’s exports to Finland are the most diversified among the largest trade partnersExported goods from Estonia have gained market share on the Finnish marketEsto..
Flash comment: Latvia
March 8, 2018
Annual inflation rate declines for the sixth month in a row in February
In February, annual inflation rate declined for the sixth month in a row, reaching 1.8%. On monthly basis, prices grew by 0.2%. Service prices have once again taken over as the lead contributor to annual price growth. While goods’ price growth dece..
Flash comment: Lithuania
March 7, 2018
Annual inflation drops to 3.5% in February
Annual inflation eased to 3.5% in February down from 4% in January. Month on month consumer prices dropped by 0.2%. Inflation is largely following the path of our forecasts. Annual growth of service prices decelerated to 5.1%, while prices of goods..
Flash comment: Latvia
March 2, 2018
Tightening labour market lifted wages by 7.9% in 2017
• Average gross wage growth at 7.9% in 2017 • Unemployment rate down to 8.7% in 2017 • Employment growth inched up in 2H 2017, compensating the fall in 1H 2017 • Labour shortage poses an increasing challenge to employers Labour market tightenin..
Flash comment: Estonia
March 1, 2018
Wage growth was rapid and broad-based
• The growth of the average gross wage decelerated to 6.5% in 2017. • Swedbank expects the average gross wage to grow by 6% and the real net wage by 9% in 2018. The growth of the average gross wage decelerated to 6.5% in 2017. The rapid gro..
Flash comment: Lithuania
March 1, 2018
Last year’s great performance is unlikely to be repeated soon
Thanks to recovering global trade and still supportive domestic demand, last year the Lithuanian economy enjoyed the fastest growth since 2013. In real terms, GDP expanded by 3.8% in 2017 - exactly in line with our forecast. The domestic demand r..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 28, 2018
GDP growth fastest in six years
The fourth quarter GDP growth was confirmed at 4.2% year-on-year (0.3% quarter-on-quarter). For the year as a whole, the real GDP expanded by 4.5%, which is the fastest pace in the past six years. Moreover, in terms of GDP volume the economy finall..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 28, 2018
Estonia’s GDP growth was broad-based and the fastest of last six years
In 2017, Estonia’s GDP growth accelerated to 4.9% in real terms and to 9% in nominal terms. Economic growth was the fastest of last six years. The growth exceeded our expectations (our recent forecast in January was 4.4%). The growth was broad-base..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 26, 2018
Gross wages grow at 8.5% in 2017
Tight labour market continues to support strong wage growth. Annual gross wage growth inched up to 7.5% in the fourth quarter. In 2017 gross wages grew at 8.5%, exceeding our expectations. Generally growth was quite strong across industries. Wage..
Flash comment: Estonia
February 14, 2018
Higher employment and lower unemployment rate
• Labour market has become even tighter. • Employment increased by 2.2% and the unemployment rate decreased further to 5.8% in 2017. Last year brought good news for Estonian employees. Higher economic activity lifted demand for labour. Employ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 14, 2018
Inflation at 4% in January and is set to ease this year
Inflation has crept up a little in January and stood at 4% annually. Prices rose by 0.3% since December. As previously prices of services grew at a faster pace than goods, 5.3% and 3.6% respectively. Notably the change in prices of services has bee..
Flash comment: Latvia
February 12, 2018
Annual headline inflation at 2.0% in the first month of 2018
In January, monthly headline inflation was 0%, thus annual inflation rate stood at 2.0%. Goods’ inflation continued to retreat and goods’ prices grew by 1.5% on annual basis. Slowdown mostly owed to slower food price growth, which reflects global f..
Flash comment: Lithuania
February 9, 2018
Flash comment: Lithuania - February 9, 2018
The unemployment rate declined to 7.1% last year and was 0.8 pp lower than a year ago. This seems like great news before one takes a closer look. Apparently, the increase in the activity rate (76% for 15-64 year-olds) could no longer alleviate t..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 30, 2018
GDP growth still strong, but slows to 4.2% in the fourth quarter
Real GDP growth slowed to 4.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, it was the second fastest rate of growth over the past five years. The strong figure, however, was largely due to base effects, as the quarter-on-quarter growt..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 30, 2018
Solid GDP growth to mark the end of a year
Economy has gained pace after a slump 3rd quarter. GDP grew 3.6% year-on-year and 1.5% quarter-on-quarter (Seasonally and working-day adjusted) in Q4. Strong run at the end of the year solidified a 3.8% GDP growth for 2017 - exactly in line with ou..
Macro Focus
January 24, 2018
Swedbank’s Sustainability Indicators: towards the 2030 Agenda
Sustainability Indicators assess progress towards UN Sustainable development goals Focus on sustainable development identifies business opportunities and highlights risks Sweden should speed up reforms to remain among the leaders, while the Balt..
Flash comment: Latvia
January 10, 2018
Average annual inflation at 2.9% in 2017
After four years of low headline inflation, year 2017 brought faster price growth. In line with our forecast, average annual inflation accelerated to 2.9% in 2017. Food prices, especially dairy, meat and vegetable, rose by 6% in 2017 and accounted ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
January 9, 2018
Average annual inflation at 3.7% in 2017
Annual inflation decelerated to 3.9% in December, while in monthly terms, consumer prices did not change. Annual growth in the prices of both, goods and services, eased towards the end of the year, to 3.4% and 5.3%, respectively. The dissipating..
Flash comment: Estonia
January 8, 2018
Inflation accelerated to 3.4% in 2017
Inflation picked up last year due to higher commodity prices and an increase in excise tax rates. Higher excise taxes added 0.9 percentage point to inflation in 2017. Among different products and services, food and non-alcoholic beverages cont..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
December 19, 2017
Housing affordability remains high in all three Baltic capitals in the third quarter of 2017
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 148.6 in Tallinn, 177.2 in Riga, and 124.8 in Vilnius.In Tallinn, affordability increased by 2.9 point in the third quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, as apartment price gro..
Macro Focus
December 14, 2017
With faster growth comes faster inflation
• Baltics at the top of EU 28 price growth as economic growth accelerates • Rapid wage growth is a blessing and a curse – notable service price increases in Lithuania and Estonia • Winter is not coming to Latvia – service inflation to heat up
Macro Focus
December 11, 2017
Bitcoin – another bubble or a monetary revolution?
Why did cryptocurrencies appreciate so much this year? Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – cheaper IPO, or a letter from the Nigerian prince? The future is likely to be shaped by regulators, not aficionados
Flash comment: Latvia
December 8, 2017
Annual inflation slowly retreats
For the third month in a row inflation slowly recedes. In November, annual inflation rate was 2.7%. Despite retreating inflation, it is considerably higher than a year before. In the eleven months of this year, annual average inflation was 3.0% (fo..
Flash comment: Lithuania
December 8, 2017
Inflation lingers at 4.4% annually
Annual inflation has not changed from October to November and was at 4.4%. Prices grew 0.3% month over month in November. Meanwhile, average annual inflation reached 3.5%. Prices of goods in annual terms grew 4%, while services price growth eased..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 30, 2017
GDP growth at the top speed of the cycle
The real GDP growth was confirmed at 5.8% YoY (nsa) – the fastest growth since 2012! Most likely, it is the fastest pace of growth within this business cycle. The quarterly growth was at 1.5% (swda). The size of the economy is close to the pre-cris..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 30, 2017
Robust GDP growth continued in 3Q2017 as expected
In 3Q2017 Estonian GDP expanded 4.2% yoy and 0.3% qoq (swad) in real terms. In nominal terms, GDP increased by 8.9% yoy. During the first three quarters, GDP has increased by 4.8% yoy in real terms. The major contribution to the growth comes from t..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 29, 2017
Wage growth remained rapid in Q3
• Wage growth remains relatively high as labour demand increases more than supply. • Swedbank expects the average gross wage to grow by around 5% and the real net wage by close to 9% in 2018. The growth of the average gross wage accelerated in..
Flash comment: Latvia
November 29, 2017
Slightly slower but still rapid wage growth in Q3
• Annual gross monthly wage growth at 7.5% in Q3 as labour market tightens • Wages up in almost all sectors • Payroll tax cuts and minimum wage hike to give additional boost to wage growth next year After surging 8.7% in the second quarter, the ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 24, 2017
Wage growth slows as minimum wage effect fades
Annual wage growth slowed down to 7.2% in the third quarter. The waning effect of minimum monthly wage increases was the main reason for the slowdown. Wage growth was also dragged down by sluggish wage growth in the public sector. Its wages grew..
Flash comment: Estonia
November 14, 2017
Higher GDP growth lifts demand for labour
• The employment rate reached the highest level in 20 years. • The unemployment rate declined to 5.2%. Higher economic activity reflects in the developments in the labour market. In the third quarter, employment grew by 2.0%, the number of une..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 10, 2017
Unemployment down to 6.6%, but employment declines in Q3
The unemployment rate declined to 6.6% in the third quarter of this year and was 0.9 pp lower than a year ago. Activity rate remained flat at 76.1% and thus did not alleviate the negative effect of the shrinking working age population on the labour..
Flash comment: Lithuania
November 9, 2017
The start of descent for inflation
In monthly terms, consumer prices rose by 0.2% in October, while annual inflation decelerated to 4.4%. Average annual inflation picked up to 3.3%. Annual growth in the prices of consumer goods decelerated from 4,4% in September to 4% in October. ..
Flash comment: Latvia
October 30, 2017
Strong GDP growth surpasses all expectations
In the third quarter 2017, Latvian real GDP expanded 5.8% YoY nsa (up 1.5% QoQ swda). It is the fastest rate of growth since 2012, and in terms of volume GDP is about back to its pre-crisis level of 2017. Growth is broad across all sectors with con..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 30, 2017
GDP growth weakens, probably temporary
In the third quarter of this year GDP was 3.1% higher than a year ago. Seasonally and working day adjusted annual growth was 3.4%, while quarterly growth was a meagre 0.1%. This is markedly slower growth than during the first two quarters of this y..
Flash comment: Lithuania
October 9, 2017
Inflation picks up to 4.8% in September
In monthly terms, consumer prices rose by 1% in September, while annual inflation accelerated to 4.8%. Average annual inflation picked up to 3%. Annual growth in the prices of consumer goods accelerated from 3.8% in August to 4.4% in September. ..
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