Estonia weathered the pandemic shock better than its peers in 2020, with a contraction of GDP of 2.7%. However, the recent and acute resurgence in virus cases entailed new lockdown measures that have damped economic activity. GDP is projected to grow by 2.9% in 2021 and 5% in 2022, driven mainly by private consumption and a gradual resumption of private investment. Unemployment is expected to decrease gradually, but will remain above its pre-crisis level, while poverty is expected to increase from an already high level. Downside risks arise from the pandemic path, notably virus mutations, but the vaccination programme will make all adults eligible for vaccination by the summer.
The top policy priority is to recover strong labour market performance while preparing the workforce for greater use of digital technologies and low-carbon economic growth. Unemployment is expected to remain higher than before the pandemic and several categories of workers risk losing attachment to the labour market.
Estonia ranks already among the top countries in e-government. Citizens can do basically anything online except for a very few things like getting married or divorced and selling or buying real estate. The X-road, the secure communication protocol underlying e-government services, was built on the same principles as the block chain, even before the word block chain was invented.