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Statistics: Estonia's rise in export services slows down in Q3 2023

Cyber exercise.
Cyber exercise. Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

According to data provided by Statistics Estonia and Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank), in the third quarter(Q3) of 2023, Estonia's exports of services grew by 1 percent and imports by 3 percent on year at current prices. Sales of services to non-residents totaled €2.8 billion in Q3, while purchases amounted to €2.2 billion.

Estonia's balance of foreign trade in services in Q3 was €557 million in surplus.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that, in the third quarter, Estonia's exports and imports of services increased primarily due to the trade in telecommunications, computer and information services.

"It is one of the top service categories among Estonia's exports and imports. Within this category, the exports and imports of computer programming and consultancy services dominated again in the third quarter," said Leppmets.

Leppmets explained that the top services exported in the third quarter were other business services (including other business support services), totaling €759 million. This was followed by exports of telecommunications, computer and information services (including computer programming and consultancy) for €673 million, and exports of transport services (including road freight transport) at €578 million.

Compared to the third quarter of 2022, the biggest increase was seen in the exports of telecommunications, computer and information services, travel services, and financial services. The biggest fall occurred in the sales of transport services to non-residents.

Estonia's foreign trade in services. Source: Statistics Estonia

In the third quarter, Finland was the top partner country for Estonia's exports of services, with travel services being the biggest export item. Finland was followed by the U.S.A., with telecommunications, computer and information services the main types of services supplied, and then Sweden, where Estonian enterprises primarily exported transport services.

The biggest rise was recorded in sales of services to the U.S.A. (up €38 million), Luxembourg (up €33 million) and Ireland (up €20 million). On year, there were greater exports of telecommunications, computer and information services to the U.S.A. and to Luxembourg, and more sales of other business services to Ireland. The biggest fall was registered in exports of services to non-EU countries, especially Russia (down €55 million) due to decreased sales of transport services.

The main services imported to Estonia in the third quarter of this year were other business services (including other business support services) for €631 million. This was followed by transport services (including sea freight transport) for €574 million, and telecommunications, computer and information services (including computer programming and consultancy) for €452 million. Compared to Q3 2022, the biggest rise was in the purchase of telecommunications, computer and information services, other business services, and construction services from non-residents. The imports of transport services declined the most on year.

In the third quarter of 2023, Estonia's main partner countries for imports of services were Finland, Lithuania and Germany, with transport services being the top import item.

Estonia's main partners in foreign trade in services. Source: Statistics Estonia

The biggest rise was seen in the import of services from Ireland (up €45 million), the U.S.A. (up €39 million) and Lithuania (up €34 million). On year, there were more purchases of other business services from Ireland and Lithuania, and greater imports of telecommunications, computer and information services from the U.S.A.

The biggest decline occurred in imports of services from Russia (down €25 million), Luxembourg (down €22 million) and Finland (down €21 million). When compared to Q3 2022, there were fewer purchases of transport services from Russia and Finland, and less imports of other business services from Luxembourg.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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