Market Report, "Estonia Country Risk Report Q3 2016", published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Mon May 09 2016

Although Estonia's current account flipped into surplus in Q214, the positive balance will not be experienced for long with EU economic sanctions on Russia suppressing exports and the accelerating economic recovery boosting import levels. The deficit will remain manageable in 2015 and 2016, with the services account set to remain a significant positive contributor.

The Estonian Reform Party is on course to retain first place in the March 2015 general election, boosted by its competent economic management and the hard line taken with Russia during the Ukraine crisis. The identity of the junior coalition partner is more uncertain with three parties competing for second spot, and a fractious election campaign could result in more aggressive political discourse following the vote.

The economy has turned the corner and will post relatively strong real GDP growth over the next two years. Rising domestic demand will more than offset lower export growth, as relations with Russia remain strained.

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Estonia's economic recovery help the country's budget deficit remains within EU Maastricht criteria limits. Rising revenue will cancel out the impact of a pre-election tax cut and an escalation in defence spending, amidst potential Russian aggression on Estonia's eastern border.

Key Risks To Outlook

In the event opinion polls show a sustained decline in support for the Reform Party, taking them well below the SDE and the Centre Party, we would be inclined to shift our view away from the RE retaining top spot in the coalition. In the event of the RE as the second-largest party we would expect them to be made the junior coalition partner, in order to facilitate an easier transition and to sure up investor confidence in the country. If the RE significantly underperforms we would expect to see a centre-left coalition come to power, led by either the SDE or the Centre Party. This would likely see a softer line taken with Russia, and the potential for government spending to rise notably from current levels, placing the country's fiscal targets at risk.

Assess your risk exposure in Estonia with our 100% independent forecasts assessing the pace and stability of this key market. Backed by trusted data from BMI Research's 52 million data point economic forecast model, this report will allow you to measure political, economic, business environment and operational risks in Estonia with confidence.

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