Swedbank Macro Research

Baltic Archive

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

Baltic Housing Affordability Index
June 08, 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 04, 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 01, 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 01, 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 01, 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 09, 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 02, 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 06, 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 08, 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 07, 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 02, 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 01, 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 01, 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 09, 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 09, 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 08, 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 08, 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 08, 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..
Baltic Sea Region Report
December 06, 2017
Heart-warming growth is a poor excuse to postpone reforms
• Growth at its cyclical peak • Productivity is the key to income convergence in the Baltics • Sustainable development – where do we stand? • Universal basic income – utopia or an urgent necessity? Growth at its cyclical peak The upswing in global ..
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 09, 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 09, 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. ..
Baltic Housing Affordability Index
September 14, 2017
The housing affordability index improved in all three Baltic capitals in the second quarter of 2017
The housing affordability index (HAI) increased to 159.9 in Tallinn, 183.5 in Riga, and 129.4 in Vilnius. • In Tallinn, affordability increased by 0.2 point in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, as wage growth gained ..
Flash comment: Latvia
September 09, 2017
Price growth picks up again in August
As we expected a slowdown in inflation rate in July was temporary. In August annual price growth picked up again and was 3.1%. Food prices contributed the most to inflation growth in August. Among food prices, butter has been in the spotlight rec..
Flash comment: Lithuania
September 08, 2017
Annual inflation accelerates to 4.4% in August
In monthly terms, consumer prices remained stable, however, annual inflation surged to 4.4% in August. Meanwhile, the average annual inflation picked up to 2.6%. The effect of increased excise duties on alcohol is still observed, however the effect..
Macro Focus
September 08, 2017
Poorer than their parents: the struggles of Europe's young
Hit most by great recession and rising house pricesUpcoming challenges: population ageing and tech revolution Negative effects on growth, public finances, and political stability In some respects, the current young Europeans can be thought of as..
Flash comment: Latvia
August 31, 2017
Economy records a rapid 4% annual growth two quarters in a row
In the second quarter the real GDP increased by 4% (not seasonally adjusted) year on year (YoY), recording the same growth rate as in the first quarter. The pick-up was seen in almost all sectors, except finance and insurance, and operations with r..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 31, 2017
Economic growth in 2Q was the fastest of the last six years: 5.7% yoy
We expected continued robust GDP growth in the second quarter, but 5.7% yoy (1.3% qoq swda) was above expectations. As inflation has picked up, GDP nominal growth accelerated to 10.2% yoy. Statistics Estonia revised up GDP levels and growth rates o..
Flash comment: Estonia
August 30, 2017
Tight labour market lifts wages
• Wage growth will remain relatively high as labour demand increases more than supply. • Nevertheless, the gap between wage and productivity growth rates will narrow this year. The growth of the average gross wage accelerated in the second q..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 25, 2017
Wage growth remained strong in Q2
Nominal gross wages growth decelerated only slightly to 8.7%, while real net wages rose by 6% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago. Wage growth in private sector continued exceeding that of the public se..
Macro Focus
August 17, 2017
Lithuania: short cyclical upturn or structural change ahead?
GDP accelerated due to strong domestic and foreign demand Labour market hit its limit, but credit and investment cycle has way to go High-value-added export sector rising from low levels but needs more favourable environment
Flash comment: Estonia
August 14, 2017
Lack of labour a growing concern
• The labour market remained tight. • The unemployment rate increased due to a reform. In the second quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate was 7.0%, the employment rate 66.9% and the labour force participation rate 72% in Estonia. The labour..
Latvian Economy
August 09, 2017
Tax reform in Latvia – a small but worthy step in the right direction
Tax reform package passed by the Parliament on July 27 involves changes to the labour, corporate, and excise taxes, as well as measures to combat shadow economy. Overall it is a move in the right direction, with more to be done. The reform will hav..
Flash comment: Lithuania
August 08, 2017
Annual inflation accelerates again in July
Annual consumer price growth reached 3.9% in July. Meanwhile, the average annual inflation picked up to 2.3%. Higher prices of alcohol and tobacco (resulted by a hike in excise duties), dairy products, fuels and those of restaurant services contrib..
Flash comment: Latvia
July 31, 2017
Latvia’s economic growth in the first half of 2017 twice as fast as last year
GDP growth in Latvia accelerated to 4.1% YoY in the second quarter (+4.0% YoY in the Q1) of 2017. Seasonally and calendar adjusted growth was even more impressive, i.e. 4.8%, as there were two working days less this year. Quarterly growth slightly ..
Flash comment: Lithuania
July 31, 2017
Strong growth continues: GDP up by 3.9% in Q2
The Lithuanian government and the businesses can relax for now and enjoy their summer vacation – the Lithuanian economy continues growing at an accelerated pace. The Lithuanian GDP increased by 3.9% in Q2 of this year, compared to the same perio..
Estonian Economy
July 20, 2017
Watch out for the growth in job vacancies
Job vacancy rate just above average, but annual growth amongst highest in the euro area Unemployment and vacancy rate curve suggests no crisis yet… …but job vacancy rates likely to increase further Annual growth of vacancy rate second highest in th..
Flash comment: Estonia
July 07, 2017
Inflation accelerated in the first half of the year
Inflation accelerated to around 3% in the first half of the year in Estonia. The contribution of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased substantially in recent months. Food and non-alcoholic beverages amount to a quarter of household expenditur..
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 ..

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