Profits of Estonia’s business sector totaled EUR 787 million in the third quarter, indicating an 8% drop YoY. Sales, meanwhile, increased by 10%, to EUR 13.9 billion, Statistics Estonia reported.
Compared to the third quarter of 2016, total profits decreased in most economic activities. Construction, agricultural and manufacturing businesses contributed the most to the total profit of the business sector, while the growth in the sector’s profit was negatively affected primarily by wholesale and real estate businesses.
In the third quarter, businesses sold goods and services for EUR 13.9 billion, 10% more than during the same period last year. The turnover of trade and manufacturing businesses, which accounted for the largest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased by 7% and 5%, respectively. The biggest increase occurred in the turnover of businesses specializing in water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities.
Compared to the same period a year before, the total expenditures of businesses increased by 11%, including a 9% increase in personnel expenses. The number of persons employed increased by 3% and the number of hours worked by 2%. Labor productivity of the business sector on the basis of value added amounted to an average of EUR 5,800 in the quarter per person employed, remaining at the same level as during the third quarter of last year.
In the third quarter businesses invested EUR 477 million, down by 2% YoY. Investments were made primarily in machinery and equipment as well as buildings.
Primary investors included manufacturing, energy, trade, and transportation and storage businesses, accounting for more than half of all total investments. Compared to the third quarter of 2016, investments in buildings, computers, and equipment and machinery increased, while investments in transport equipment and land decreased. (ERR/Business World Magazine)