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Exports of services reached a record high in the fourth quarter

One of Estonia’s largest companies, Bolt, provides services in many countries worldwide. Photo: Unsplash

According to Statistics Estonia and Eesti Pank, in the fourth quarter of 2023, Estonia’s exports of services grew by 5% and imports by 7% compared with the same quarter of 2022. Sales of services to non-residents totalled 3.1 billion euros and purchases of services from non-residents amounted to 2.3 billion euros at current prices which is record high.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that exports of services have never been as high as in the fourth quarter of last year. “Estonian enterprises supplied services to non-residents for more than 3 billion euros. The balance of foreign trade in services was in surplus by 716 million euros in the fourth quarter, which helped to cover the deficit in trade in goods,” Leppmets added. Total exports of services increased by 9% and imports by 8% last year.

The main services exported in the fourth quarter were other business services (incl. other business support services) for 934 million euros. This was followed by exports of telecommunications, computer and information services (incl. computer programming and consultancy) for 793 million euros and exports of transport services (incl. road freight transport) for 617 million euros. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2022, the biggest increase occurred in the exports of telecommunications, computer and information services, other business services, and travel services. The biggest fall was registered in the exports of transport services.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Finland was the top partner country for exports of services (16% of total exports). The main services supplied to Finland were travel services. Finland was followed by Germany (8%), with other business services being the biggest export item, and the United States (8%), where Estonian enterprises exported primarily telecommunications, computer and information services. The biggest rise was recorded in exports of services to Germany (up by 72 million euros), where Estonian enterprises supplied a greater amount of transport services. The biggest fall was seen in exports of services to Latvia (down by 37 million euros), to which less other business services were sold than before.

In Q4 2023, service exports reached a record high of 3.1 billion euros, indicating a growth of 5%. Source: Statistics Estonia

The most imported services in the fourth quarter were other business services (incl. other business support services), worth 766 million euros, followed by transport services (incl. sea freight transport) for 607 million euros, and telecommunications, computer and information services (incl. computer programming and consultancy) for 468 million euros. Compared with the same quarter of 2022, the biggest rise occurred in the imports of other business services, telecommunications, computer and information services, and travel services. Purchases of transport services decreased the most.

The top partner countries for imports of services in the fourth quarter were Germany, Finland, and Lithuania (each accounting for 8% of Estonia’s total imports). The main services purchased were other business services from Germany and Lithuania and transport services from Finland. The biggest rise was recorded in imports of services from the United Arab Emirates (up by 49 million euros), due to increased purchases of transport services. The biggest decline occurred in imports of services from Portugal (down by 14 million euros), due to decreased purchases of other business services.

Estonia’s top partner countries for exports of services in 2023 were Finland, Sweden, USA and Germany. Source: Statistics Estonia

In 2023, Estonia’s exports of services totalled 11.7 billion euros and imports 9.1 billion euros. Other business services, transport services, and telecommunications, computer and information services accounted for the largest shares of both exports and imports. The trade of telecommunications, computer and information services, other business services, and travel services grew the most. The biggest fall was registered in the exports and imports of transport services. Estonia’s top partner countries for exports of services in 2023 were Finland, Sweden and Germany, and its main partners for imports were Germany, Finland and Lithuania.

 

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