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EU forecast: Estonian economy to fall 4.7 pct this year


TALLINN, Jan 19, BNS - In its recent economic overview of the European Union (EU) the European Commission has forecast Estonia's economic fall at 4.7 percent in 2009.

The Commission forecasts that the economic fall in 2008 would be more than two percent, 2.4 percent, to be precise.

The European Commission forecast economic growth for Estonia in 2010, when the gross domestic product of the country is going to rise by 1.2 percent.

Last fall the EU forecast Estonia's economic fall at 1.3 percent and the fall in 2009 at 1.2 percent. The EU then forecast the growth by 2 percent in Estonia's gross domestic product in 2010.

According to the recent broadcast consumption of the private sector will decline by 3.4 percent this year.

Estonia's export should decline by 1.6 percent and import by 3.2 percent this year. Next year, growth in export and import is expected at respectively 1.5 and 0.5 percent.

In the recent forecast the number of persons gainfully employed will contract by 4 percent, much higher than the 1.8 percent of the fall forecast.

According to the new forecast the level of unemployment in Estonia will grow to 8.8 percent this year and 9.7 percent next year; the earlier forecasts were 6.7 and 7.7 percent respectively.

The harmonized consumer price index will this year rise by 3.2 percent and next year by 2.7 percent. The earlier forecast was respectively 4.9 percent and 3.3 percent.

The forecast shortfall of the state budget with respect to GDP will be 1.6 percent this year and 1.3 percent this year. For 2008 the European Union forecast the Estonian shortfall at 2.8 percent.

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