Ülo Ennuste Economics

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Euroopa hambutu kevadprognoos

Euroopa hambutu kevadprognoos*

Just aastake tagasi värske finantsvolinik Rehn tavatses memorandumites uhkustada oma teravate hammaste üle ja et järgmisel aastal ta tugevdab ning laiendab brüsseli koordinatsiooni (mitte segamini ajada võimu koondamisega) ja seda eeskätt komisjoni prognooside abil mis tema käe all hakkavad omama indikatiivset iseloomu ehk projitseerivateks: et nende kaudu tõmmatakse liistule Euroopa Semestri mehhanismi kaudu liikmesriikide poliitikad nii kogu välislaenuga liialdamise alal, tööhõive liga-loga laskmise osas, et GDP lõhe järgi hakatakse hindama nii finants- kui ka fiskaal-poliitika kvaliteeti ning vajadusel nõutakse asjatundmatute poliitikate korrigeerimist, et inflatsiooni talitsematust hakatakse trahvima ja et tema ise nõuab komisjonile õiguse liikmesriikide statistikate kontrollimiseks ning harmoniseerimiseks jne.

Kahjuks see kõik on siiani jutuks jäänudki: Eesti esitab endiselt eurostatile GDP juurdekasvu tempode profiile mis kohandamata teise riikide andmetega ja seega mittevõrreldavad**,  ja mis eriti kahetsusväärne et seekordne kevadprognoos on isegi hambutum kui vanasti. Nt GDP lõhe tabeli juures on peenkirjas mingi  udu nagu see arvestaks GDP prognooside muutumistega – taevane arm – selline jutt muudab ju tabeli mõttetuks, vanasti oli vähemalt selgelt öeldud et prognoosid kehtivad praeguste poliitikate jätkumisel või midagi taolist.

Eesti lõigu alguses o küll märgitud et GDP kumulatiivne langus 2008-9 oli 19% mis on märkimisväärne tõesti kuid seejuures on jäetud kahesilma vahele et sellega meie alustasime selle näitaja osas divergentsi. Viimane asjaolu aga oleks eriti vaja ära märkida sest euroliit on eeskätt konvergentsi liit (mitte segamini ajada integratsiooniga) ja et selle prognoosi järgi lähiaastatel jätkub meie GDP pc sigma-konvergentsuse järgi divergents reaalselt ning isegi PPS valuutas – tõsi et kolgastumine (GDP osakaalu vähenemine euroliidus) ei jätku. Väga kahju et komisjon  ei vaevunud prognoosima finantsvooge sest meie vaesumise ja majanduspotentsiaali jätkusuutmatuse üks peapõhjus näib praegu olevat kasumite ülemäärane väljavool riigist koos tööjõuga ning ülemäärane inflatsioon – et selle talitsemine nõuaks ühe tarviliku eeldusena meie praeguse ebakvaliteetse tulumaksu/kasumimaksu süsteemi re-reformist ehk harmoniseerimist euroliidu „keskmisega”, ja et taoline konvergentsile tagasipöördumine pole meie praeguse võimkonna/keskpanga majanduspoliitika kontekstis teostatav/võimalik – ilma brüsselipoolse kompetentse-teravahambulise surveta.

*****************************************************

*http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2011/pdf/ee-2011-1_en.pdf

Eesti lõik lk 98-100 (siin tabeliteta)

6. ESTONIA

Economic recovery gaining further ground

Buoyant export growth supports the recovery…

Following a cumulative GDP loss of 19% in

2008-09, the Estonian economy rebounded swiftly,

with growth accelerating throughout 2010 and

reaching 3.1% for the year as a whole.

External trade has been the main driving force

behind the recovery so far. A buoyant external

environment, particularly in Sweden, but also in

the main euro-area trading partners, pushed up

external demand. Exports of goods increased by

53% y-o-y in the last quarter of 2010, with the

main contribution coming from electrical

machinery and equipment exports to Sweden.

Overall, exports represented over 78% of GDP in

2010 – the highest share since the recovery from

the Russian crisis ten years ago, contributing 14%

to annual GDP growth. Such a strong

export-driven recovery reflects the significant cost

adjustment that took place in 2009-10, which

improved competitiveness and helped to increase

share in global trade.

In contrast to the external trade, domestic demand

remained rather weak, with signs of recovery

appearing only towards end-2010. Overall,

domestic demand increased by 1.4% in 2010, with

the main contribution coming from inventories in

the first half of the year, and a strong rebound in

investment in the fourth quarter, mainly in

equipment. Government investment was lower

than expected, while construction of dwellings

stalled. Overall, fixed investment declined by over

9% in 2010. Private consumption was constrained

by the ongoing deleveraging, high unemployment

and lower wages, and picked up only moderately

towards the end of the year.

…also in 2011, when domestic demand is

expected to pick up strongly too

External demand is expected to contribute

positively to growth on average over the forecast

horizon due to a strong economic outlook in

Estonia’s main trading partners. Export growth is

projected to remain rather high in 2011,

decelerating somewhat in line with demand growth

in export markets in 2012.

Private-consumption growth is expected to pick up

to 3.5% towards the end of the forecast horizon,

but to remain significantly more moderate than

before the crisis, with its GDP share stabilising at

around 50%. Behind the improving outlook lie

expected growth in household disposable income

and a better employment outlook as economic

growth accelerates. Savings by households, which

increased significantly during the crisis, are

expected to decrease but to remain positive over

the forecast horizon, as households continue

deleveraging. Rising interest rates could provide

additional positive impetus to savings, while

higher prices could reduce households’ purchasing

power, weighing on the recovery of private

consumption. Uncertainty about the medium-term

preferences of households with respect to saving

represents one of the major risks to the forecast.

Fixed investment is expected to bounce back

strongly in 2011-12, building on the growth

momentum from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Investment growth is likely to be broad-based,

affecting equipment, public infrastructure and

housing. In particular, investment in equipment is

set to accelerate further in 2011 after a significant

fall during the crisis. The positive external outlook,

improved confidence and increasing profitability

are expected to provide incentives for a substantial

upgrade of existing production facilities and the

creation of new ones to support the ongoing

sectoral rebalancing. This increase in investment is

also expected when taking into account the rising

capacity utilisation, which amounted to more than

73% in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter

of 2011. The renewal and extension of production

capacities is also facilitated by higher profitability

in the banking sector and stronger financial sector

confidence, which contribute to more dynamic

lending policies. In parallel, public sector

investment is set to rebound strongly, with

infrastructure investment gaining ground through

higher absorption of EU structural funds and

investment related to the carbon credit trade

contracts. Public investment is likely to spill over

to residential construction. Overall, fixed

investment is expected to increase by over 10%

annually over the forecast horizon.

Stronger domestic demand and industrial export

would support import growth, with a slightly

negative trade balance reducing the currentaccount

surplus towards 2012. The improved

profitability of foreign-owned companies could

lead to an increasing income account shortfall, but

a significant part of these profits is likely to be

reinvested.

Overall, annual GDP growth is set to be higher

than projected in the previous forecast,

accelerating to 4.9% in 2011 before slowing down

somewhat to 4% in 2012. The growth profile is

also projected to be more balanced, with domestic

demand gradually gaining ground both due to

higher investment and recovering private

consumption.

Labour market is recovering, but

unemployment and skill mismatches remain

major challenges…

After peaking at some 20.4% in early 2010,

unemployment (15-64) declined very rapidly to

just below 14% towards the end of the year. Job

creation has accelerated since spring 2010,

reflecting the robust recovery in exporting

manufacturing sectors. Such a strong rebound was

possible due to the high flexibility of Estonia’s

labour market as well as to significant adjustment

in labour costs. Employment growth is expected to

accelerate further in 2011, in line with the overall

improved growth outlook, before moderating

somewhat in 2012. Activity rates, which were very

high and increasing throughout the recession, are

expected to decline somewhat.

The adjustment in the labour market was supported

by active labour market policies, as expenditure

increased considerably in 2009 and 2010 to

prevent unemployment from becoming structural.

The government recently announced its intention

to reinforce labour market policies further and step

up lifelong learning activities. Nevertheless,

unemployment is expected to remain relatively

high in both 2011 and 2012 notwithstanding rising

labour demand. As the ongoing sectoral

rebalancing of the economy requires new skills,

there is a risk that unemployment could become

structural, resulting in an impoverished labour

supply and a constraint on growth. In parallel, the

increasing availability of employment

opportunities in other EU countries could lead to

further migration, compounding structural

bottlenecks as labour demand rises.

Following the significant downward adjustment in

2009-10, nominal hourly wages in the whole

economy reverted to positive growth in late 2010.

Moderate nominal wage growth can be expected in

both 2011 and 2012, reflecting higher demand for

labour, likely skills mismatches and shortages, and

rising inflation, with real wage growth turning

positive towards the end of 2011.

…as are rapidly rising prices

After almost a year of negative monthly headline

inflation in 2009, prices started increasing again

from spring 2010, with HICP inflation reaching

2.7% for 2010 as a whole and spiking by the end

of the year. Commodity prices in Estonia remain

very responsive to world prices, reflecting

a consumption basket highly influenced by food

and energy prices, the prevalence of short-term

contracts, the price-taker nature of the economy, as

well as higher demand in neighbouring countries,

notably after a poor harvest in Russia last summer.

Tax changes also had a sizeable impact (1 pp.) on

average inflation. Nevertheless, inflation (overall

index excluding energy, food, alcohol, and

tobacco) remained fairly low in 2010. Despite the

unusually turbulent time, the impact of the euro

changeover of 1 January 2011 was broadly similar

to the experience with previous changeovers.

Limited euro-related price increases stemmed

mostly from service categories.

Looking forward, global commodity prices are

expected to bring inflation up to 4.7% in 2011, but

would contribute to inflation moderation in 2012.

Nevertheless, given the history of relatively high

inflation in Estonia prior to the last downturn,

there is a risk that current inflation developments

may affect expectations, adding to an upward

pressure on wages due to skills mismatches. This

could hinder competitiveness and, hence, weigh on

growth prospects.

Budget balance – back in surplus, but some

deterioration expected

The general government finances reached

a marginally positive outcome in 2010, with

a surplus of 0.1% of GDP. Although the result was

markedly affected by sizeable sales of so-called

“Kyoto units”(75), which amounted to 1.0% of GDP

in 2010, the outcome was better than previously

expected and reflected the considerable adjustment

of public finances implemented in 2009-10.

(75) An Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) is a tradable ‘Kyoto unit’

or ‘carbon credit’ representing an allowance to emit

greenhouse gases. AAUs are issued up to the level

specified in Annex 1 Party to the Kyoto Protocol. Due to

the initial comparison basis, Estonia received a higher

quota amount than needed given the current structure of the

economy, and is able to sell the surplus of the CO2 quota

allocated for the 2008-12 commitment period.

However, the over-performance in comparison to

previous projections was largely a result of a delay

in the implementation of planned government

investments, including those related to the

absorption of EU structural funds.

Notwithstanding the strong improvement in the

macroeconomic outlook, public finances are set to

deteriorate again, moderately in 2011 and more

markedly in 2012, based on the no-policy-change

assumption. This is, firstly, the result of a gradual

reversal of the consolidation measures that were

introduced temporarily in 2009-10 to deal with

acute phase the crisis. Secondly, sales of “Kyoto

units” and environmental investment obligations

related to those sales will continue to strongly

affect the profile of public finances over the

forecast period. Without these transactions, the

headline general government position would have

been fairly stable, with deficits of 0.9% of GDP in

2010, 1.0% in 2011 and 1.1% in 2012.

The general government debt will remain very

low, projected to increase marginally to 6.9% of

GDP by end-2012. It is assumed that deficit will be

financed – fully in 2011 and partly in 2012 – by

running down previously accumulated financial

assets rather than new borrowing.

**http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-13052011-AP/EN/2-13052011-AP-EN.PDF

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May 14, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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