Estonian industrial production expanded 6.6% y/y in January, working-day adjusted data from Statistics Estonia showed on March 3.
While a slowdown on the 10% y/y boom in December, the January reading extends a trend of strong growth that began in September. That offers the Estonian economy a good start towards forecasts that economic expansion will 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, which it sees at 2.8%, 0.1pp above the estimate of the EU executive.
In unadjusted annual terms, industrial production expanded 12.1%. In monthly terms, output gained a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in January.
Unlike in the past few months, the energy sector proved a drag on the headline figure, as it fell 1.8% y/y, Statistics Estonia noted. Mining drove the expansion, with the output in the sector booming 36.1%. Manufacturing output grew 7.2%.
Some 70% of total industrial output was sold on the external market, as has been the case for several months. According to unadjusted data, export sales of manufacturing production increased 14% y/y and domestic sales rose 8%.