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Estonia’s GDP shows Q1 contraction

Estonia’s economy contracted in the first quarter of this year on weak household spending and investment, data published by Statistics Estonia (SE) shows. Gross domestic product fell 0.7% on a yearly basis in Q1, compared to fourth quarter’s 3.9% expansion.

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The main cause for the economic downturn were net product taxes, which fell in the first quarter by 18.8%, mainly due to a drop in the value added tax and fuel excise duty receipts, SE said.

Household consumption growth decelerated sharply to 0.3% and investments declined 6.9%. At the same time, exports dropped by 2.6% and imports by 5.2%.

On a quarterly basis, GDP was down by seasonally adjusted 3.7% in the first quarter. Year-on-year, GDP fell by an adjusted 0.8%.

In a separate report, the Tallinn-based agency said that Estonia’s industrial production declined a working-day adjusted 16.9% year-on-year in April, following a 6.5% fall in March. On a monthly basis, industrial production fell a seasonally and working-day adjusted 8.4% in April.

Separate data from the statistical office showed that the retail sales declined 15% annually in April. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose a seasonally and working-day adjusted 8% in April, SE said on May 29.