A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: International trade in goods and services 2021, 2nd quarter

Published: 22 June 2020

Travel decreased remarkably in the first quarter of 2020

Service exports fell by 5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019. Service imports decreased by 2 per cent. Exports of services amounted to EUR 6.8 billion and imports to EUR 7.8 billion. Service exports and imports decreased particularly due to decrease in travel and transport services. The data appear from Statistics Finland's statistics on international trade in goods and services, which are part of balance of payments .

Figure 1. Imports and exports of services quarterly

Figure 1. Imports and exports of services quarterly

The combined exports of goods and services in balance of payments terms decreased by 10 per cent and imports fell by 4 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the corresponding quarter in 2019. In balance of payments terms, goods exports grew by 12 per cent and goods imports fell by 5 per cent.

The levels in customs terms and in balance of payments terms can differ, because goods trade in customs terms includes flows of goods where ownership does not change. In contrast, goods trade in balance of payments terms is based on change of ownership. In addition to the changes made to the customs data, goods trade in balance of payments terms includes sales and purchases from abroad to abroad.

Decrease in service exports centres on travel and transport

Both travel abroad from Finland and to Finland decreased in the first quarter of 2020 from one year back. The value of travel expenditure abroad from Finland, which is included in the statistics as travel imports, decreased by 9 per cent. Travel to Finland (included as travel exports), in turn, decreased by 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 year-on-year.

However, more travel services are still imported than exported. Finland received income from travel services to the value of EUR 704 million in the first quarter of 2020. Expenditure abroad from Finland amounted to around EUR 1.0 billion. Travel exports include such as the goods and services consumed by a person having travelled to Finland either for a leisure or business trip for under one year.

Measured in euros, service exports decreased most due to transport services, which decreased by 19 per cent (EUR 188 million) compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Transport exports include such as income from freight and passenger transport and postal and courier services to Finland.

Other service items decreasing service exports were manufacturing services and other business services. Exports of manufacturing services decreased by 18 per cent. In turn, exports of other business services were decreased by 11 per cent. Decrease from the first quarter of the previous year came particularly from the sub-item belonging to other business services: technical, trade-related, and other business services.

The decrease in service imports was, however, curbed by increased exports of one service item. Exports of telecommunications, computer and information services (ICT services) were increased by 15 per cent (EUR 343 million) on the corresponding quarter of the year before.

Figure 2. Exports of services by service item

Figure 2. Exports of services by service item

The United States were Finland’s most important country of exports for services

Services were exported most to the United States in the first quarter of 2020. The United States accounted for 14 per cent of Finland’s service exports. Service exports to the United States grew by 16 per cent year-on-year while exports of goods decreased by 26 per cent. The United States’ share of Finland’s exports of goods decreased by 2 percentage points while service exports grew by three percentage points year-on-year. The Euro area’s share of Finland’s service exports decreased by 5 percentage points. The decrease in exports of goods was more moderate, 1 percentage points.

The United States’ share of imports of goods remained the same year-on-year while the share of service imports grew by 1 percentage point. The Euro area’s share of imports of goods grew by 1 percentage point and the share of service imports remained the same.

International trade in services with Sweden in deficit

After the United States, services were particularly exported to Sweden, where 13 per cent fewer services were exported in the first quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2019. In other turn, service imports from Sweden grew by 2 per cent. Service trade to Sweden is still in deficit: service imports from Sweden amounted to nearly EUR 0.3 billion more than service exports to Sweden. The exports of goods amounted to EUR 1.7 billion. Service exports to Sweden decreased by 15 per cent year-on-year.

Service exports to Germany decreased by 22 per cent while exports of goods decreased by 30 per cent. Germany’s share of Finland’s service exports was 8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020. Germany's share of service exports from Finland to Europe was 13 per cent. In exports of goods, these shares were approximately the same: 9 and 13 per cent.

Services imported from Great Britain exceeded service exports. Service imports decreased by 4 per cent while service exports increased by 13 per cent. Service exports to Russia decreased by 12 per cent and the level of service imports decreased 20 per cent compared to last year’s quarter. Service exports to China decreased by 12 per cent and service imports by 7 per cent, compared to the beginning of year 2019.

Figure 3. Exports of goods and services in balance of payments terms by area

Figure 3. Exports of goods and services in balance of payments terms by area

Statistics on international trade

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 detailed 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 quarterly and annual levels . Finnish Customs publishes data on goods trade across borders. Goods trade published by Finnish Customs is 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.

Finnish Customs’ statistical service, tilastot@tulli.fi, +358 29 552 335.


Source: International trade in goods and services 2018, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tommi Kaatrasalo 029 551 3320, Nina Hiltunen 029 551 3089, globalisaatio.tilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jan Nokkala

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Revisions in these statistics

Updated 22.6.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): International trade in goods and services [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-4244. 1st quarter 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.10.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tpulk/2020/01/tpulk_2020_01_2020-06-22_tie_001_en.html