Estonian industrial production expanded 1% y/y in August, working-day adjusted data from Statistics Estonia showed on September 30.
The reading extends a growth trend in the Baltic state’s industrial sector to two months. However, in the past 12 months, output only managed to grow five times, with July’s mediocre expansion of 2.2% being the fastest. Activity will therefore have to accelerate in the coming months to restore confidence that wider economic expansion is set to pick up speed.
GDP grew just 1.1% y/y in 2015, the slowest in six years. The economy improved somewhat in the first quarter, growing 1.7% y/y, but faltered again in April-June as it recorded a gain of just 0.6%.
In monthly terms, industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in August. Output in the energy production sector drove the headline figure, as it ballooned 37% y/y, Statistics Estonia noted. The growth came on the back of production of electricity, which grew 48% with a third of output exported.
Other key segments saw production dwindle. Output in the mining sector fell 18.4% on the year, while production in the manufacturing segment decreased 0.8%. About 70% of total industrial output was sold on the external market, as has been the case for several months.
Despite stuttering industrial output, the European Commission forecasts Estonian growth at 1.9% in 2016. That is an upward revision from 1.6% predicted in February.