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Latest publication: International trade in goods and services 2021, 4th quarter

Published: 15 June 2016

Difference of exports and imports of services narrowed down in the first quarter of 2016

The fall in imports of services narrowed down the difference between imports and exports of services in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the corresponding figures of the previous year. Services were exported to the value of EUR 5.4 billion, while service imports amounted to EUR 5.6 billion. Imports of services went down by 1.4 per cent from EUR 5.7 billion in the first quarter of 2015. The data appear from Statistics Finland's statistics on international trade in goods and services.

Imports and exports of services

Imports and exports of services

The levels of international trade in services returned in the first quarter of 2016 to the level of the corresponding period last year. However, the over one per cent decline in imports slightly narrowed down the difference between imports and exports. Data on international trade in services between the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 are not comparable due to seasonal variation.

Exports of goods in balance of payment terms decreased by 7.8 per cent while exports of goods in customs terms went down by 7.3 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The difference in percentage changes is explained by the diminished net exports of goods trade related to goods sent abroad for processing and merchanting. The fall in total exports of goods and services was around EUR one billion over the year due to the effect of the decrease in exports of goods.

Imports of goods in balance of payment terms in turn went down by 6.2 per cent, which is less than the fall in imports of goods reported by Finnish Customs, 6.4 per cent. The difference was mainly due to the decline in the CIF-FOB decrease related to freight and insurance costs. In total, imports of goods and services went down by EUR 0.9 billion.

International trade by area

The regional structure of exports of goods and services has remained unchanged over 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. More than two-thirds of the value of exports of goods and services is directed to Europe. Over 80 per cent of the value of exports directed to Europe comes from the EU area. In addition, some growth could be seen in the share of Europe in exports of goods and services.

Exports of goods and services in balance of payment terms by area

Exports of goods and services in balance of payment terms by area

The share of Europe was bigger in both goods and services in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015. In exports of services the increase in the share of Europe is explained by the growing share of the EU.

Imports of goods and services are more centred than exports. The shares by continent in imports have remained unchanged since the beginning of 2015. More than 80 per cent of the value of imports come from the area of Europe. However, the share of the EU in the value of imports from Europe has risen compared with Europe outside the EU.

International trade in services by service item

The majority of the value of exports of services comes from telecommunications, computer and information services*. However, their share has declined slightly in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015. Telecommunications, computer and information services cover around one-third of exports of services. In turn, the share of other business services grew by nearly four percentage points to 20 per cent in the corresponding period. Business and management consulting services grew in particular.

Exports of services by service item

Exports of services by service item

The share of services in international trade stayed unchanged at around 30 per cent in both exports and imports. The structure of imports of services remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the corresponding quarter last year. The share of other business services grew by three percentage points as imports of construction and project deliveries went down by two percentage points.

The margin gained from items of goods related to goods sent abroad for processing and merchanting diminished by one-fifth to around EUR 350 million in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015. The CIF-FOB decrease influencing imports of goods went down by five per cent to EUR 850 million.

The statistics on international trade in goods and services are part of balance of payments . The statistics comprise breakdowns of goods and services on a more accurate level. The guidelines and recommendations of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6) applied to balance of payments are consistent with the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010). National Accounts are published on the quarterly and annual levels. Finnish Customs publishes data on goods trade across borders. Goods trade published by Finnish Customs are used as source data for the statistics on international trade in goods and services. Removals and additions caused by definitions are made to them to achieve goods trade in balance of payments terms.


Source: International trade in goods and services 2016, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Risto Sippola 029 551 3383, Ari Knuuti 029 551 3344, globalisaatio.tilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 15.6.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): International trade in goods and services [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-4244. 1st quarter 2016. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 29.6.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tpulk/2016/01/tpulk_2016_01_2016-06-15_tie_001_en.html