The current account was in deficit in March 2018

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 32 million euros in deficit in March 2018. The surplus on the goods and services account was less than a year earlier at only 8 million euros. Goods exports fell by 7% over the year and imports by 1%, and so the deficit on the goods account was 57 million euros larger than in March 2017 at 144 million euros. One factor that affected the turnover of foreign trade was that there were two fewer working days in March than in the previous March. Services exports were up by 8% and imports by 1%, meaning the surplus on the services account widened by 34 million euros to 152 million euros. The net outflow of investment income and current transfers, or the primary and secondary income accounts, increased by 5 million euros over the year to 41 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in deficit by a total of 5 million euros. This means that the Estonian economy was a net borrower from the rest of the world for the first time in a long time, so the country as a whole received more funds from abroad than it invested there.

1 The quarterly balance of payments is compiled from a combined system of representative primary data sources, including surveys of companies, while the monthly balance of payments draws from a considerably smaller database. Although the monthly report uses as much of the data available for the month reported as possible, including administrative data sources and reports on international payments, it is subjective to a certain degree, which is why it is called an estimate. Once the quarterly balance of payments is released, the monthly balances of payments are adjusted accordingly.

Eesti Pank publishes the flash estimate of the balance of payments monthly for the last month but one. Eesti Pank will publish the balance of payments for the first quarter of 2018 on 7 June 2018.

Statistical releases are published by Eesti Pank together with statistical data. The release is independent of economic policy releases and is presented separately from them.

Additional information:
Sünne Korasteljov
Eesti Pank Statistics Department
Telephone: 668 0906
Email: synne.korasteljov [at] eestipank.ee