Businessman and former finance minister Tõnis Palts says that, in comparison with the rest of Europe, Estonian economy is still doing very well.
“We must keep our breath and pray that it remains so,” Palts told Äripäev, adding that although Estonia was sensitive to external shocks, especially from the Eurozone, there are signs that some major export partners such as Sweden also continue to do well. While most of Europe is slowing down as well, with the German economy growing only 0.3 percent, a welcome boost to Estonia’s economy came from Sweden which reported a 1.4 percent growth in the second quarter.
Palts said that much is depending also on how the Finnish economy is doing. “Estonia has relatively small unemployment, but it owes a lot to Finland. We must keep our hopes high that the economies of Finland, Sweden and Germany remain strong”.
Speaking of Finland, Palts agreed that Finnish economic slowdown would dampen Estonia’s economic growth. “When things go bad in Finland, it would affect Estonia first through the export market and secondly through employment. When unemployment in Finland were to start growing, it would directly influence the use of immigrant labour force.”