Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/08/2013 -- MI View: Steady Growth
We have trimmed back our GDP growth projections for Estonia in 2012 and 2013, to reflect the ongoing troubles of the Eurozone. BMI now expects the economy to grow by 2.4% in 2012 and 3.0% in 2013: both these numbers are a few decimals of a percentage point lower than our earlier projections. However, we are confident that the medium-term outlook is good, based on the resilience of consumer demand, the country's low debt ratios, and its trade links to northern Europe and the Scandinavian economies. We expect total foreign trade (imports + exports) to grow by a healthy 6.1% in 2013.
For the freight industry the outlook is for a moderate improvement in activity levels in 2013, reflecting the slightly faster rate of growth in the economy as a whole, and a a degree of stabilisation after the significant loss of Russian transit business in 2012 (the 'Ust-Luga effect explained below).
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Headline Industry Data
- 2013 air freight tonnage throughput forecast to increase 8.8% to 21,380 tonnes.
- 2013 road freight tonnage throughput forecast to rise 3.8% to 35.02mn tonnes.
- Rail freight tonnage throughput projected to grow by 2.5% in 2013 to reach 50.1mn tonnes.
- Total trade (imports plus exports) in real terms is set to grow 6.1% in 2013.
- The Port of Tallinn will see gross tonnage growth increase 1.3% to 31.04mn tonnes in 2013.
Key Industry Trends
Can Estonia's Small Airline Survive?
Possibly not, say its neighbours. With small national airlines struggling to remain financially viable, discussions have begun on the possibility of creating a single regional airline and postal delivery company. Initial contacts involved officials from Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. 'Latvian and Estonian national airlines have been suffering great losses the last few years and the prospects of these companies are very uncertain. A study performed by the ministry of transport and communications has shown that in small markets such as those of the Baltic countries, success can only be expected for a joint airline of the three countries', said Lithuanian's transport minister Eligijus Masiulis. Masiulis urged discussions with his Latvian and Estonian opposite numbers to see if the creation of a joint company would be justified.
Masiulis was certain that joint cooperation of two government companies, with the Estonian post service possibly joining as well, would 'strengthen the position of our companies in competition with the parcel companies of other countries, and would help increase the quality of service. It would be easier for a joint company to enter the international market, as well'.
Competition From Russia's Ust-Luga Continues To Bite
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