Estonian industrial production expanded 14.8% y/y in March, working-day adjusted data from Statistics Estonia showed on May 2.
The reading shows the industrial sector improving its performance after an already strong growth of 9% y/y in February. The March expansion – the fastest since 2011 - extends a growth trend that began in September. The trend helps reinforce forecasts that the Estonian economy is due to pick up speed in 2017.
Estonian GDP grew 1.6% in 2016, improving on the six-year low of 1.1% seen in the preceding year. The economy is predicted to expand 2.2% in 2017, according to the European Commission. Swedbank offers the same forecast, but is more optimistic than Brussels about growth in 2018, seeing it at 2.8%, 0.1pp above the estimate of the EU executive.
In unadjusted annual terms, industrial production boomed 17.2%. In monthly terms, output gained a seasonally adjusted 2.4% in March.
Production increased in all three main segments of industry in March. The energy segment saw output grow 31.7% y/y; mining boomed 85.6%, and the manufacturing segment expanded 10.4%. All manufacturing sub-segments increased output, save for the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products.
Some 70% of industrial output was sold on the external market. According to unadjusted data, export sales of manufacturing production increased 11% y/y while domestic sales rose 12%.