Estonia's total economy was a net lender in 2009

Eesti Pank's statement on 2009 financial-account statistics
Siret Vildo, Financial Sector Policy Division of Eesti Pank, Specialist in Charge

In 2009, the volume of both financial assets and financial liabilities contracted in the Estonian total economy, since economic agents were uncertain about future developments. However, financial liabilities decreased more than assets, by 3% and 2%, respectively.

The financial position of the total economy strengthened in line with an improvement in the external environment and the general-government budget position, so economic agents in Estonia have been net lenders since the second quarter of 2009. The financial behaviour of the general-government sector became notably more balanced in the second half of 2009. The general-government sector was a net borrower in the fist half of the year, but the situation reversed in the second half of 2009.

Households and the general-government sector were the only sectors where financial assets grew in 2009. The financial assets of households increased by 2%, mostly owing to the improvement in the international financial-market situation, which caused a rise in the value of shares and technical provisions. The financial liabilities of households decreased by 4% due to modest credit demand and repayment of existing loans.

The debt burden of non-financial enterprises, which had soared in 2005-2008, started to decline in 2009. The ratio of corporate debt to equity capital, which had amounted to 65% at end-2008, withdrew to 61% by end-2009. The reduction was due to an increase in corporate equity capital and a decrease in various debt liabilities.


Figure 1. Net lending (+) and net borrowing (-) in total economy within a quarter


* Debt burden includes debt liabilities and invoices due
Figure 2. Indicators describing the corporate debt burden


Figure 3. The ratio of households' financial assets and liabilities to GDP

The financial accounts of the national accounts system reflect the financial assets and liabilities and respective transactions and other changes in assets and liabilities of both different economic sectors and the economy as a whole. Net lending (+)/ net borrowing (-) is the balancing indicator of the transactions account, being the difference between transactions with financial assets and liabilities during the period under review. A sector is a net lender, if the net acquisition of financial assets exceeds the net incurrence of financial liabilities over the same period.
The financial accounts statistics is available at www.eestipank.info/pub/en/dokumendid/statistika/f_konto/.

For further information:
Ingrid Mitt
Public Relations Office
Telephone: +372 6680 965, +372 512 6843
E-mail:
ingrid.mitt [at] eestipank.ee