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Growth in eurozone member Estonia slumps to 0.7%: official data

The Eurozone logo/AFP

The Eurozone logo/AFP

TALLINN, February 11- Eurozone member Estonia saw growth slump to 0.7 percent in 2013, down sharply from 3.9-percent expansion a year earlier on weak foreign demand, Statistics Estonia said on Tuesday.

The economy, part of the Baltic region and emerging eastern Europe, ran out of steam at the end of the year.

“Growth was weak in 2013 due to the low foreign demand, decreasing transit of goods, and decline in construction,” Madis Aben, a finance ministry analyst said.

“Lower than expected growth at the end of the year has been a surprise to us,” he added, as data showed a meagre 0.1-percent expansion in the fourth quarter.

Kaspar Oja, a Bank of Estonia economist said the bank was holding to its estimate of 2.6-percent growth this year as “foreign demand appears to have started growing again.”

The Baltic state of 1.3 million people, which joined the eurozone in 2011, saw output expand by 9.6 percent in that year.

Estonia exports machinery, equipment along with mineral and agricultural products mainly to Sweden, Finland, Russia and fellow Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania.

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