The Estonian cost level is gradually converging with the surrounding EU, but still, there are meaningful differences. On average, Estonian wages are about a third of those in Sweden or Finland, but maybe more importantly, wages are very market sensitive. The salaries raised rapidly in boom years but were significantly adjusted during the crisis. Such flexibility allowed for many companies to survive and gain competitiveness in a difficult economic environment in comparison to firms from neighbouring countries.
Office rents, utilities and costs of various auxiliary services to businesses in Estonia are priced somewhat lower than in other CEE countries. Electricity is sold by a state monopoly and Estonia is self-sufficient in electricity. Gas is imported from Russia at EU-prices, and water- and sewage costs are determined by local municipalities. The Competition Authority supervises the pricing of all public utilities.