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Estonia Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Bolstered by a widespread national desire to reintegrate into Western Europe, the Estonian government has pursued an ambitious program of market reforms and stabilization measures, which is rapidly transforming the economy. Three years after independence - and two years after the introduction of the kroon - Estonians are beginning to reap tangible benefits; inflation, though still high, was brought down to about 2% per month in second half 1994; production declines have bottomed out with estimated growth of 4% in 1994; and living standards are rising. Economic restructuring has been dramatic. By 1994 the service sector accounted for over 55% of GDP, while the once-dominant heavy industrial sector continues to shrink. The private sector is growing rapidly; the share of the state enterprises in the economy has steadily declined and by late 1994 accounted for only about 40% of GDP. Estonia's foreign trade has shifted rapidly from East to West; the Western industrialized countries now account for two-thirds of foreign trade.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $10.4 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

    • National product real growth rate:
      4% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $6,460 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      3.3% per month (1994 average)

    • Unemployment rate:
      about 2% in 1994 (official estimate but large number of underemployed workers)

    • Budget:

        $643 million

        $639 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993 est.)

    • Exports:
      $1.65 billion (f.o.b., 1994)

        textile 14%, food products 11%, vehicles 11%, metals 11% (1993)

        Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany

    • Imports:
      $1 billion (c.i.f., 1994)

        machinery 18%, fuels 15%, vehicles 14%, textiles 10% (1993)

        Finland, Russia, Germany, Sweden

    • External debt:
      $650 million (end of 1991)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate -27% (1993)

    • Electricity:

        3,420,000 kW

        11.3 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        6,528 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      oil shale, shipbuilding, phosphates, electric motors, excavators, cement, furniture, clothing, textiles, paper, shoes, apparel

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 10% of GDP; employs 20% of work force; very efficient by Soviet standards; net exports of meat, fish, dairy products, and potatoes; imports of feedgrains for livestock; fruits and vegetables

    • Illicit drugs:
      transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; very limited illicit opium producer; mostly for domestic consumption

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (1992), $10 million

    • Currency:
      1 Estonian kroon (EEK) = 100 cents (introduced in August 1992)

    • Exchange rates:
      kroons (EEK) per US$1 - 12.25 (January 1995); note - kroons are tied to the German Deutschmark at a fixed rate of 8 to 1

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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