This is archive content that is no longer updated.

Go to the up-to-date statistics page.

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

Latest publication: International trade in goods and services 2021, 4th quarter

Published: 18 June 2021

Exports of services falling in the first quarter of 2021

Exports of services fell by 18 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Imports of services also fell by 18 per cent. Exports of services amounted to EUR 5.6 billion and imports to EUR 6.6 billion. As in the previous year, the exports and imports of services declined especially in travel and transport services. These data derive 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 fell by four per cent and imports fell by six per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the corresponding quarter in the year before. In balance of payments terms, goods exports grew by two per cent and goods imports fell by one 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 aboard to abroad.

Exports of services fell particularly due to a steep decline in travelling

As one year ago, both travel abroad from Finland and from abroad to Finland went down in the first quarter of 2021 from one year back. Travel to Finland (included as travel exports) declined by 89 per cent (EUR 646 million) in the first quarter of 2021 year-on-year. The value of travel expenditure abroad from Finland, which is included in the statistics as travel imports, fell by 94 per cent (EUR 935 million).

Exceptionally, more travel services were exported than imported. Finland received income from travel services to the value of EUR 83 million in the first quarter of 2021. Expenditure abroad from Finland amounted to EUR 61 million. 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 second most due to transport services, which fell by 36 per cent (EUR 314 million) compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Finland received income from transport services to the value of EUR 558 million in the first quarter of 2021. Transport exports include such as income from transport support activities, freight and passenger transport and postal and courier services to Finland. Imports of transport services declined by 17 per cent (EUR 232 million).

Measured in euros, exports of services decreased most due to technical, trade-related and other business services, which went down by 15 per cent (EUR 125 million) from the respective quarter of the year before. Finland received income from these services to the value of EUR 685 million in the first quarter of 2021. Imports of technical, trade-related and other business services also declined by 14 per cent (EUR 191 million).

Other fallen service items were such as research and development services, the exports of which fell by 23 per cent (EUR 59 million). This service item also decreased service imports. Imports of research and development services fell by six per cent (EUR 54 million).

Figure 2. Exports of services by service item

Figure 2. Exports of services by service item

Sweden was Finland’s most important country of exports for services

Services were exported most to Sweden in the first quarter of 2021. Sweden’s share in Finland’s service exports was around 15 per cent. Service exports to Sweden fell by two per cent year-on-year, while goods exports grew by seven per cent. Sweden’s share of goods exports grew by one percentage point and that of service exports increased by two percentage points from twelve months back. The share of the euro area in service exports fell by one percentage point, while its share in goods exports remained unchanged.

Service imports from Sweden decreased by nine per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared with one year ago, while imports of goods increased by four per cent. Sweden’s share of goods imports grew by one percentage point from one year ago, as did Sweden's share of service imports. For the euro area, the share of goods imports fell by one percentage point and that of service imports by two percentage points.

International trade in services to the United States in surplus

After Sweden, services were especially exported to the United States, where five per cent fewer services were exported in the first quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter of the previous year. Service imports from the United States decreased by 16 per cent. Service trade to the United States showed a surplus: Services were exported to the United States to the tune of EUR 105 million more than imported from the United States. Goods exports to the United States amounted to EUR 1.2 billion. Goods exports to the United States grew by 2 per cent compared to the quarter of one year ago.

Service exports to Germany went down by 11 per cent, while goods exports went down by two per cent. Germany accounted for nine per cent of Finland's service exports in the first quarter of 2021. This share grew by only one percentage point compared with the previous year. Germany’s share of service exports from Finland to Europe was 14 per cent, up by one percentage point. As regards goods exports, Germany accounted for nine per cent of Finland’s total exports, similarly as for service exports. The share of goods exports has not changed from one year ago. Germany's share of goods exports from Finland to Europe was 12 per cent, which fell by only one percentage point.

Apart from Germany, service exports declined especially to Great Britain and Russia. Service exports to Great Britain fell by 47 per cent, as did service imports from Great Britain by 17 per cent. Services imported from Great Britain exceeded service exports by EUR 228 million in the first quarter of 2021. Exports of goods from Great Britain went down by 27 per cent and exports of services to Great Britain by two per cent. Service exports to Russia fell by 67 per cent, while the level of service imports decreased by just six per cent from the year before. Twelve per cent more goods were exported to Russia than one year before and imports of goods grew by eight per cent. Four per cent fewer services were exported to China and 12 per cent more were imported than at the beginning of 2020. Goods exports from China grew by 15 per cent and goods imports also increased by 12 per cent.

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 the definitions described in the quality description are made there 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: Marianna Mukkulainen 029 551 3405, Kasperi Lavikainen 029 551 3674, globalisaatio.tilastot@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Katri Kaaja

Publication in pdf-format (273.7 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Revisions in these statistics

Updated 18.6.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): International trade in goods and services [e-publication].
ISSN=2343-4244. 1st quarter 2021. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.8.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tpulk/2021/01/tpulk_2021_01_2021-06-18_tie_001_en.html