A more-optimistic-than-expected summer economic forecast stands testimony to the government’s crisis management policy, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on September 9, the first day of the 2022 state budget cabinet talks.
Kallas said: “The sufficiently substantial and well targeted supplementary budget compiled rapidly this spring played an important role in this, having provided the necessary support to the businesses and residents that had been hit the hardest. It softened setbacks and created the prerequisites for rapid recovery in improved epidemiological conditions. As a result, Estonia is one of the few states in Europe to see its economy significantly exceed the pre-crisis level”.
The discussions will continue over the next two weeks, while the state budget draft bill must be presented until the end of the month.
The talks started at lunchtime with the fresh economic forecast, which stated that the economy would grow by nearly 10% in 2021.
Kaja Kallas said that this strong performance headed off a need for more government stimulus, lest the economy overheat.
Kallas also noted that the coronavirus crisis’ impact had been uneven.
“For that reason, we need to continue ensuring social support for the vulnerable part of our society and maintain buffers for any possible negative developments,” she said.
Government spokespersons said that the Kallas-led cabinet would pursue a responsible financial policy, but which would also weather any potential negative scenarios.
The forecast itself will form much of the basis of the state budget draft. Once this is finalized at month end, it passes to the Riigikogu for debating and voting, with a view to being enshrined into law until year-end. (ERR/Business World Magazine)