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Soothsayer: Estonian economy overheated

Helenius says Estonians too laden with debt

Investment banker Joakim Helenius told the Estonian daily, Äripäev, that the Estonian economy has now overheated and its fast growth is not sustainable. “I predict that economic growth in Estonia will be smaller this year; if we manage to land smoothly, the next year’s growth will amount to 6-7 per cent,” said Helenius. He added that Estonians depend too much on debt, since nearly all flats and cars are purchased with lent money.

Many foreigners have remarked about the fine cars that Baltic citizens drive. In fact, the Porsche dealership in Riga sells more cars annually than most western city dealerships, though part of this reason is that Russians like to buy their cars in Riga and take them to Russia.

It is said that when new luxury cars are sold in Russia an extra set of keys is made without the owner’s knowledge. Criminals then use the key to disarm security and steal the car, either selling it back to the original owner or on to a third party. Whether true or not, the story partially explains the popularity of Russian citizens buying new cars in Riga.