Compared to 2017, total profit increased in most of the economic activities, Statistics Estonia reports. Manufacturing and trade enterprises contributed the most to the total profit of the business sector. Profit growth in the sector was slowed down mainly by administrative and support services and construction enterprises. The profit of manufacturing increased by approximately a fifth compared to 2017, mainly due to an increase in profits in the manufacture of metal products, fuel oil, machinery and equipment, and construction materials.
In 2018, enterprises sold goods and services for 61 billion euros, which is 10% more than the year before. The biggest increase in turnover occurred in real estate and agriculture, forestry and fishing activities. The turnover of trade and manufacturing enterprises, which have the biggest share in the total turnover of the business sector, increased 9% and 7%, respectively.
Compared to 2017, the total expenditure of enterprises increased 11%, including 10% increase in labour costs. The number of persons employed and the number of hours worked increased 3% and 1%, respectively. In 2018, the labour productivity of the business sector on the basis of net value added amounted to an average of 23,900 euros per person employed, i.e. 5% more than in 2017.
In 2018, enterprises invested 2.3 billion euros, which is the same as the year before. As in 2017, the investments were made mostly in machinery and equipment and in buildings. The main investors were manufacturing, energy and trade enterprises, accounting for nearly a half of the total investments of all enterprises. Compared to 2017, the investments in buildings and in machinery and equipment increased. Other investments decreased, the biggest decrease was in investments in transport equipment.
In the 4th quarter of 2018, enterprises sold goods and services for 16.2 billion euros, which is 12% more than in the same period of 2017. In the 4th quarter of 2018, enterprises invested 789 million euros, i.e. 17% more than in the 4th quarter of 2017.