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Output of economic activities in the EU Member States

23/10/2017

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In 2016, industry was still the largest economic activity in the European Union (EU) in terms of output generated. It accounted for 19.4% of EU total gross value added (GVA), immediately ahead of the economic activities "Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services" (19.0%) and "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" (18.8%). "Real estate activities" (11.4%) and "Professional, scientific and technical activities" (11.0%) also accounted for a significant share of EU total gross value added.

The respective shares of these economic activities have, however, followed diverging trends over the last 20 years. The percentage of gross value added that was generated grew in "Professional, scientific and technical activities" (from 8.7% in 1996 to 11.0% in 2016, or +2.3 percentage points – pp), "Information and communication" and "Real estate activities" (both +0.9 pp) as well as in "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" (+0.8 pp). It remained fairly stable at around 19% in "Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services". In contrast, the share of industry decreased significantly (from 22.9% in 1996 to 19.4% in 2016, or -3.5 pp) as did that of agriculture, forestry and fishing (by -1.1 pp).

 

This information, based on basic breakdowns of the main GDP aggregates by 10 economic activities, will be complemented by a news item on employment by economic activities, to be released on 24 October.

 

Share of 10 main economic activities in EU total GVA, 1996 and 2016 (%)

The source dataset can be found here.

 

Share of trade in total GVA highest in Lithuania…

In 12 EU Member States, "Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services" was the biggest economic activity in terms of gross value added generated in 2016. The highest shares were recorded in Lithuania (32.2% of total GVA), Latvia (25.4%), Cyprus (25.2%), Portugal and Poland (both 25.1%, although it was not the largest economic activity in Poland), Spain (23.6%), Greece and Austria (both 23.2%).

 

Share of industry highest in Ireland and the Czech Republic…

In 9 Member States, "Industry" came first: Ireland (36.6%) and the Czech Republic (32.1%), followed by Slovenia (27.1%), Slovakia (26.9%), Hungary (26.8%), Poland (26.5%), Germany and Romania (both 25.7%) as well as Bulgaria (24.4%).

 

And share of public administration and activities highest in France, Belgium and Denmark

"Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" was the main economic activity in terms of GVA in France (22.7%), Belgium (22.3%) and the Netherlands (21.4%), as well as in the three EU Nordic Member States – Denmark (22.3%), Sweden (21.5%) and Finland (21.3%). Luxembourg stood out, with "Financial and insurance activities" representing the main economic activity, generating 27.3% of total gross value added.

 

Share of industry in total gross value added in the EU Member States. 2016 (%)

The source dataset can be found here.