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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Estonian Monthly Trade Gap Widens

TALLINN, Estonia -- A sharp spike in December imports gave Estonia its highest monthly trade gap of 1999 as the economy and domestic consumption picked up and analysts said the widening trend is set to continue.

The statistics office said Friday the December trade gap totaled 2.7 billion kroons ($167.7 million) up from 2.5 billion kroons in November when the deficit almost doubled month-on-month.

However the office said the trade deficit for the full year 1999 narrowed to 17.3 billion kroons from 21.8 billion kroons in 1998.

"The rising trade gap in November was a surprise and I thought it was a one-off thing that happens occasionally," said Deutsche Morgan Grenfell analyst Chris Blevins.

The rising trade gap indicated domestic demand was picking up, he said.

The collapse of key Russian and CIS markets after ruble devaluation in August 1998 sent the Estonian economy into a prolonged recession and exporters looked for new openings in the West.