Estonia - Current Account Balance

Estonia: Current Account Balance

Mnemonic TAB.IEST
Unit Mil. EUR, NSA
Adjustments Not Seasonally Adjusted
Quarterly 18.2 %
Data 2022 Q4 -46.3
2022 Q3 -56.6

Series Information

Source Bank of Estonia
Release Balance of payments
Frequency Quarterly
Start Date 9/30/1992
End Date 12/31/2022

Estonia: Trade

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods Jan 2023 -272.45 -465.19 Mil. EUR, NSA Monthly
Exports of Goods Jan 2023 1,490 1,671 Mil. EUR, NSA Monthly
Imports of Goods Jan 2023 1,763 2,136 Mil. EUR, NSA Monthly
Current Account Balance 2022 Q4 -46.3 -56.6 Mil. EUR, NSA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2022 Q4 8,083 8,111 Mil. EUR, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods and Services 2022 Q4 8,140 7,979 Mil. EUR, NSA Quarterly
Net Exports 2022 Q4 251.33 26.81 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2022 Q4 5,773 5,675 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, NSA Quarterly
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2022 Q4 5,975 5,812 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, NSA Quarterly
Real Net Exports 2022 Q4 27.2 -195.52 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly

Release Information

Balance of payments data covering all transactions with the rest of the world are disseminated in millions of Estonian kroons (EEK). Data include:

- Current account: exports and imports of goods and services; income (receipts and payments); and current transfers (receipts and payments).
- Capital account: capital transfers.
- Financial account: direct investments, portfolio investments, financial derivatives, and other investments.
- Change in official reserves.

The data are also disseminated in millions of US dollars (USD) and Euro as additional items in the on-line data tables.


C.i.f. (cost, insurance, freight) price - an international delivery clause of goods, including the value of goods and the cost of insurance and transportation to the customs frontier of the importing country.

F.o.b. (free on board) price - an international delivery clause of goods, including the value of goods and the cost of insurance and transportation to the customs frontier of the exporting country.

Institutional sectors are divided into the following groups in the external sector statistics:

  • General government - state government and defense authorities under the authority of central and local governments; scientific, research, health care, social care, educational, cultural and sports institutions, and state funds and foundations financed from a central or a local government budget;
  • Monetary institutions - Eesti Pank as the national central bank;
  • Credit institutions - companies as private bodies licensed by Eesti Pank the principal and permanent activities which are to receive cash deposits and other repayable funds from the public and to grant loans for their own account and perform other operations listed in the Credit Institutions Act;
  • Other sectors - the remaining private sector (companies and households).

Financial leasing - loan (lease transaction) for the acquisition of assets on the condition that the leased property remains in the ownership of the lessor until the amortization of the loan and interests.

Short-term capital - claims or liabilities with the maturity of up to one year (inclusive).

Short-term position - net investment position based on short-term external claims and liabilities. Conventionally, reserves of the central bank are considered short-term due to their nature.

Long-term capital - claims or liabilities with the contractual maturity of over one year.

Long-term position - net investment position based on long-term external claims and liabilities. Conventionally, direct investment are considered long-term due to their nature.

Repurchase agreement - borrowing against securities as collateral.

Residents include:

  1. state bodies and agencies of the Republic of Estonia in the broadest sense (legislative, executive and judicial power, and their agencies, constitutional institutions), as well as local governments and their agencies;
  2. Estonia's diplomatic, consular and other official representative offices abroad, as well as other representative offices of Estonian agencies and organizations abroad not involved in economic or commercial activities;
  3. legal persons in public law and their agencies established by the laws of the Republic of Estonia or in private law registered in Estonia;
  4. organizations and associations of persons established and operating in Estonia and enjoying partial legal capacity that are not legal persons;
  5. branches and representations of foreign legal persons registered in Estonia;
  6. Estonian citizens residing in Estonia;
  7. aliens residing in Estonia with a permanent residence permit or with a temporarty permit for a at least one year;
  8. Estonian citizens studying or receiving medical treatment abroad, regardless of the length of studies or medical treatment;
  9. diplomats, military personnel, staff of consular and other representative offices as well as their family members staying abroad and enjoying immunity and diplomatic privileges;
  10. ship crews, seasonal and border workers, regardless of the duration of their residence on the territory of a foreign country;
  11. conventional business entities representing real estate located on Estonian territory (land together with its essential parts).

Nonresident - all other persons not covered by the definition resident.


Trade account - includes imports and exports of goods that contribute to the gross domestic product. Such imports and exports include:

  • imports for national consumption - goods imported for free circulation and paid by residents;
  • imports of goods for processing and exports of processed goods.
  • national exports - exports the sale of which provides receipts to residents;

Estonia's trade account is based on the special trade system of official trade statistics, registering goods exceeding free circulation1. Exports exclude re-exports of imported goods previously stored in customs warehouses or provisions for sea and air transport. Imports exclude customs warehousing of imported goods, yet reflect deliveries of goods from customs warehouses into free circulation and processing. As the official trade statistics and customs statistics do not comply with the balance of payments compilation principles (imports in c.i.f. prices, residency principle vs. territorial principle etc.), necessary supplements are added to the balance of payments. The most significant of them include:
          a) goods not declared in customs and not crossing frontiers but which are balance of payments transactions (e.g. fish caught in foreign waters);
          b) goods purchased for carriers abroad: fuel, provisions, merchandise, etc;
          c) repair of capital goods purchased and sold;
          d) translation of imports into f.o.b. price, i.e. separation of transportation and insurance costs;
          e) taking into account price distortions upon exports of goods through customs warehouses and free zone;
           f) estimates of black economy.

As of 1 May 2004 foreign trade statistics is based on the combination of two reporting systems: trade with non-EU countries is still calculated on the basis of customs declarations submitted to the Tax and Customs Board (the so-called Extrastat), whereas intra-Community trade is registered through the so-called Intrastat survey organized by the Statistical Office (see While Extrastat still enables to apply the special trade system, which excludes trade through customs warehouses, then Intrastat does not allow to filter out goods that have moved through intermediate warehouses and that have not really entered Estonia's internal market, thus rather reflecting the principles of the general trade system. Therefore the general level of both imports and exports of goods is higher than in earlier periods and that peculiarity has to be taken into account when comparing time series. Moreover, due to the structural differences between Intrastat reports and customs declarations it is no longer possible to distinguish sufficiently accurately the so-called normal exports and imports from the imports of goods for processing and from the exports of processed goods.

General trade system is also used, which registers movements of goods across customs frontiers. This system is not suitable for the compilation of the balance of payments, as it also includes the movement of goods of non-residents through Estonian customs warehouses.

Services account reflects the services sold to and purchased from non-residents by Estonian residents:

  • transportation
  • travel services
  • communication services
  • construction services
  • insurance services 
  • financial services
  • computer and information services
  • royalties and license fees
  • merchanting
  • operational lease
  • miscellaneous business services
  • personal, cultural and recreational service
  •  government services not included elsewhere

Income account reflects income related to the use and render for use of production factors (capital and labor). Income falls into two categories:
        a) compensation of employees - gross wages together with social transfers earned abroad under a labor contract with a duration of up to a year and paid to foreigners in Estonia;
        b) investment income - generally reflecting income on foreign (direct, portfolio and other) investment claims and payable from foreign investment liabilities (interests, dividends and other proprietary income). Investment income also includes reinvested earnings reflected as direct investment, being a proportional change equal to investment in the undistributed profit of the investment company.

Accounting income on realized and unrealized exchange rates and spreads are not recorded as income, because the balance of payments records movement of financial instruments at market prices. For accounting purposes the latter comprises acquisition cost and realized exchange rate and/or price profit/loss.

Current transfers account includes all remaining transactions related to the accumulation of residents' disposable income but not recorded elsewhere under the current account. Current transfers are unilateral, i.e. there is no consignment or service following (or preceding) the transfer and neither is it income for the use of production factors. Current transfers are usually related to taxes, fines, subsidies, donations, inheritance, membership fees, insurance premiums, and indemnities. Current transfers include also the cost of goods and services received or provided as foreign aid as offsetting entries. The current transfers account records money flows by two institutional sectors:
        a) general government;
        b) other sectors.

General government transfers are the amounts related to the transfers received from and paid by the Estonian public sector. Workers' remittances recorded under other sectors indicate remittances to the home country of outside workers (also migrants - persons who have lived and worked in a foreign country more than a year) in case they have been hired by a company in a foreign country.

Capital transfers are unilateral, similarly to current transfers, but amounts received or paid have no direct impact on residents' gross disposable income. Major capital transfers include:
            a) various grants from international funds to finance building infrastructure objects;
            b) transfers of migrants;
            c) acquisition of non-produced, non-financial intangible assets (intellectual property) and disposal thereof (franchises, patents, trademarks, industrial processes etc.);
            d) debt forgiveness or write-offs.

The capital account records money flows by two sectors:
         a) general government capital transfers;
         b) capital transfers by other sectors.

Direct investments in Estonia's balance of payments refers to investment involving a qualifying, which amounts to 10% or more of the equity capital of the investment company2. According to international standards, lending and other investments between a company and an investor with a qualifying holding are also reflected as direct investment (except with financial intermediaries in case of whom only subordinated debt is recorded as direct investment).

Direct investment company -  a company in which an investor or direct investor has a qualifying holding.

Direct investor - an investor who has a qualifying holding in a direct investment company.

The direct investment account falls into the following categories:
       a) equity capital of direct investment companies;
       b) reinvested earnings - direct investor's proportional share calculated by equity method in the operating profit or loss of a direct investment company;
       c) other direct investment capital - claims and liabilities related to lending, debt securities and trade credit between a direct investment company and a direct investor.

The concept describes direct investment as financial resources applied leading to a qualifying holding and a casting vote of the investor in managing the direct investment enterprise, regardless of the actual holding. As such an approach does not ensure similar treatment of the investment in the investor and recipient country, the 10% criterion is recommended to avoid statistical errors (OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 1996).

Portfolio investment account records, under claims and liabilities, securities investments that fall into the following categories:

  • equity securities - securities investment into equity capital not comprising a qualifying holding, i.e. remaining below 10% of the fixed capital of a company;
  •  debt securities - bonds and money market instruments that prove the debt claim:                                                                                                                                                       
  • bonds - securities proving the right of claim of their holders containing the borrower's commitment to repay the loan to the creditor on the agreed date and pay interest. As a rule, bonds are long-term instruments.
  • money-market instruments - treasury bills, certificates of deposit, commercial papers or other short-term securities that are usually discountable (i.e. whose notional principal amount is repaid to the investor by the issuer upon maturity and whose interest is the difference of the issue price and the repurchase price). As a rule, money market instruments are short-term.

Portfolio investments are recorded by institutional sectors in the balance of payments.

Financial derivatives are securities related to a financial instrument, index or commodity allowing trading in financial risks on markets. Major financial derivatives are options, forwards, futures, and swaps. Financial derivatives are recorded in the balance of payments by institutional sectors, assets and liabilities separately.

Other investment cover all other investments that are neither direct investment nor portfolio investment, nor related to financial derivatives:

  • trade credit
  • loans
  • currency and deposits
  • other assets and liabilities
  • capital lease and repurchase agreements

Reserves - gold and foreign exchange reserves of the central bank comprising assets backing the kroon in Estonia's monetary system. Reserves are usually highly liquid tradable external assets of the central bank, entered as:
        a) monetary gold - gold held as reserve assets;
        b) SDRs (special drawing rights) - units of account created by the International Monetary Fund. Their value is based on a basket of four currencies (USD, EUR, JPY, and GBR). Each IMF Member State has a SDR account for borrowing and other related operations between the Member State and the IMF;
        c) International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve position - contribution to the IMF that is a loan in character available to the member state, if necessary;
        d) foreign exchange - foreign exchange or equal reserve assets: foreign currency and deposits, equity  securities, bonds, money market instruments, and financial derivatives;
        e) other claims - other liquid external assets (also financial derivatives).

The data are preliminary when first released and are revised on a quarterly basis as additional information is received. In such cases the data are marked as revised. The data become final after five years. A revision policy for the monthly key items is not in place.