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Output of economic activities in the EU Member States

28/10/2019

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In 2018, industry was still the largest economic activity in the European Union (EU) in terms of output generated. It accounted for 19.1% 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" (18.6%). "Professional, scientific and technical activities" (11.5%) and "Real estate activities" (11.2%) 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 9.2% in 1998 to 11.5% in 2018, or +2.3 percentage points (pp)), "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" (+1.1 pp), "Real estate activities" (+0.7 pp) as well as in "Information and communication" (+0.6 pp).

It remained fairly stable in “Arts, entertainment & recreation; other services” and “Financial & insurance activities” (both +0.1 pp) as well as in “Construction” (-0.2 pp) and "Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services" (-0.3%).

In contrast, the share of gross value added that was generated in “Industry” decreased significantly (from 22.6% in 1998 to 19.1% in 2018, or -3.5 pp) as did that of “Agriculture, forestry and fishing” (-0.8 pp).

 

Share of 10 main economic activities in EU total GVA, 1998 2018

The source dataset can be found here.

 

Share of trade in total GVA highest in Lithuania…

In 13 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 2018. The highest shares were recorded in Lithuania (31.9% of total GVA), ahead of Poland (26.0%), Cyprus (25.6%), Greece (25.1%), Latvia and Portugal (both 24.8%).  

 Share of industry highest in Ireland and Czechia…

In 8 EU Member States, "Industry" came first, whilst it accounted for at least a quarter of gross value added generated in these EU Member States: Ireland (36.5%), Czechia (30.2%), followed by Slovenia (26.9%), Romania (26.1%), Slovakia (25.7%), Germany (25.4%), Poland (25.0%, although it was not the largest economic activity in Poland) and Hungary (24.8%).

 

Share of industry in total gross value added in the EU Member States, 2018

The source dataset can be found here.

 

 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 5 EU Member States: France (22.4%), Denmark (21.6%), Belgium (21.4%), Sweden (21.3%) and the Netherlands (20.8%).

Luxembourg stood out, with "Financial and insurance activities" representing the main economic activity, generating 26.2% of total gross value added.

 

Do you want to know more about how a large range of other economic topics has changed since the start of the millennium? Go and have a look at the digital publication The European economy since the start of the millennium!

 

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