Transactions on the financial account set the tone for the balance of payments in January
The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 24 million euros in surplus in January 2019. The balance of the goods and services account was in surplus by 71 million euros, which was 13 million euros more than a year earlier. Goods exports were up by 5% over the year and imports by 2%, meaning the deficit on the goods account narrowed by 29 million euros to 37 million euros. Services exports grew 6% over the year and imports by 13%. The positive balance on the services account was 107 million euros, which was 16 million euros less than a year previously. The net outflow of investment income and current transfers, or the primary and secondary income accounts, totalled 47 million euros in January.
The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of 81 million euros, meaning that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, so the country as a whole invested more financial assets abroad than it received from there.
The financial account was affected most in January by structural changes at credit institutions. Latvian and Lithuanian units that were previously owned by a Swedish parent transferred to come under an Estonian unit. The changes meant that the direct investment assets and liabilities of credit institutions increased by more than one billion euros.
Current account structure in the flash estimate
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. For more on the principles used in compiling the flash estimate, see https://statistika.eestipank.ee/failid/mbo/kiir_mb_eng.html.
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 2019 on 11 June 2019.
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