Estonian industrial production decreased 4.8% y/y in March, driven by falling production in the mining sector, working-day adjusted data from Statistics Estonia showed on April 29.
The reading shows industrial production dropping at an accelerating rate compared to the 1.7% fall in February. The result dents hopes that the Estonian economy will pick up speed any time soon.
In the past 12 months, industrial production only managed growth on three occasions, with 1.1% the fastest expansion in April 2015. The Baltic state’s GDP grew just 1.1% y/y in 2015, the slowest in six years.
The majority of industrial segments recorded a fall in production in March. Output in mining crashed 40.5% on the year, while manufacturing decreased 2.9%. Energy production fell 0.7%.
Inside the manufacturing segment, output from the chemicals sector fell 25.4%, proving its volatility after booming over 17% in February. Production of computer, electronic and optical products dropped 10.2%. About 70% of total output was sold on the external market, as has been the case for several months.
The Estonian government lowered its economic growth forecast for 2016 to 2.6% in September. Tallinn had previously said it expected 3% expansion. The European Commission forecasts Estonian growth at 2.1% in 2016.