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International Comparisons

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Some international comparisons of the key characteristics of the business economy are presented here. These comparisons are possible as structural business statistics are collected across the EU28. The reference year used for the EU data is 2013 as data for 2014 is incomplete for some countries. Irish data is the most recent data published by CSO and all remaining data is available on the Eurostat website.

Eurostat link: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database

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Industry (%)Services (%)Construction (%)Distribution (%)Financial (%)
Belgium6.849.616.425.12.1
Bulgaria10.538.9643.21.4
Czech Republic17.537.516.423.55.1
Denmark9.153.914.219.83
Germany10.951.813.122.12.1
Estonia10.650.912.624.61.3
Ireland6.850.919.919.33.1
Spain7.345.715.828.62.6
France8.645.717.7262
Croatia15.244.813.226.10.7
Italy11.24214.330.22.3
Cyprus11.535.915.832.93.9
Latvia10.950.68.9281.6
Lithuania11.535.114.836.62
Luxembourg3.355.811.324.55.1
Hungary9.750.210.525.64
Malta8.641.71433.62.1
Netherlands653.814.522.82.9
Austria8.756.49.522.62.8
Poland12.935.815.132.83.4
Portugal8.849.810.328.72.4
Romania10.738.79.339.71.6
Slovenia15.54815201.5
Slovakia15.834.819.928.31.2
Finland10.749.517.220.71.9
Sweden8.455.914.319.51.9
United Kingdom7.45714.519.41.7
  • In 2013, Ireland's largest sector for active enterprises was the Services sector at 51%. This was higher than the EU average (46.5%) but lower than Germany (52%) and the United Kingdom (57%). 
  • Ireland had the largest percentage share of active enterprises in the EU for Construction at 20% along with Slovakia. 
  • The EU average for share of total enterprises for Construction was 15%, with the United Kingdom at 15% and Germany at 13%. Bulgaria experienced the smallest percentage share in Construction at 6%. 
Industry (%)Services (%)Construction (%)Distribution (%)Financial (%)
Belgium20.641.910.622.44.5
Bulgaria31.531.87.525.83.4
Czech Republic35.731.99.519.43.5
Denmark22.337.99.524.16.2
Germany31.236.57.9204.4
Estonia28.23810.221.32.3
Ireland15.6447.125.87.5
Spain17.242.410.825.93.7
France20.140.111.823.14.9
Croatia30.433.210.322.14
Italy2736.89.722.63.9
Cyprus14.540.89.726.68.4
Latvia22.938.510.625.12.9
Lithuania24.733.612.127.81.8
Luxembourg12.642.314.417.313.4
Hungary3037.57.421.53.6
Malta19.144.77.323.35.6
Netherlands13.547.88.126.34.3
Austria22.740.51022.54.3
Poland32.22810.425.24.2
Portugal23.338.310.424.63.4
Romania33.630.29.524.32.4
Slovenia35.231.510.818.83.7
Slovakia32.732.21022.62.5
Finland25.139.512.219.93.3
Sweden21.143.611.720.63
United Kingdom14.448.47.124.85.3
  • Industry accounted for 15.6% of the total number of persons engaged in Ireland in 2013. There were only four countries with a lower percentage; Luxembourg (12.6%), the Netherlands (13.5%), Cyprus (14.5%) and the United Kingdom (14.4%).
  • Ireland's largest sector for persons engaged in active enterprises was the Services sector at 44%. Only three countries had a higher percentage of persons engaged in this sector - the United Kingdom (48.4%), the Netherlands (47.8%) and Malta (44.7%).
  • Ireland and the United Kingdom had the lowest percentage share of persons engaged in Construction in the EU (both at 7.1% of total employment). 
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The structural business surveys are used to compile international comparisons for Turnover, Gross Value Added (GVA), productivity and profitability.  See Tables 9.3 to 9.6.

The sectoral breakdown is somewhat different in these tables compared to the Business Demography data presented in Tables 9.1 and 9.2.  Industry has been replaced by Manufacturing for confidentiality reasons and it was not possible to include the Financial and Insurance Activities sector.  

Services (ex. Finance)DistributionConstructionManufacturing
Ireland 46.614416427161516.63618155056783.8648525378067232.884549484464
Germany39.654485907359518.13952677941685.9829645433416936.2230227698819
Italy47.7878173158780.37852508027161610.214982135794841.6186754680556
Spain44.064423699550923.56509520081948.2379718614668124.1325092381628
France46.954449877681420.04905728251510.231262964784922.7652298750188
United Kingdom55.240323670407917.09014852180069.3531189025242418.3164089052672
  • The Manufacturing sector in Ireland accounted for a greater share of total GVA at 32.9%, compared to the Manufacturing sectors in Spain (24.1%), France (22.8%) and the United Kingdom (18.3%).
  • The Construction sector in Ireland had the lowest share of total GVA at 3.9%, than any of the other selected EU countries.
  • The Services sector accounted for 46.6% of total GVA in Ireland in 2013, while the United Kingdom recorded the highest percentage of total GVA for the Services sector at 55.2%.
GVA per person engaged
Ireland (all enterprises)92.381046795978
Luxembourg80.0124908920579
Denmark72.1716423896202
Belgium67.87067423193
Sweden67.890096994105
Austria60.2014088725507
France57.0311577121363
Finland56.9007336615773
United Kingdom55.0224648022887
Netherlands54.8998422468579
Ireland (indigenous)52.7
Germany52.2086211066879
Italy42.0099314009815
Spain37.4250906737774
Cyprus32.1300013331951
Slovenia29.2517303078805
Estonia23.198218608806
Greece22.2659132365542
Czech Republic22.1649427651164
Portugal21.4817335699364
Slovakia20.7114104694456
Hungary19.5285670089373
Poland19.1503346149843
Croatia18.0893416111016
Latvia15.5834284898658
Lithuania13.8243633509017
Romania12.1749853581089
Bulgaria9.10822349156772
  • Ireland recorded the highest figure in the EU28 for GVA per person engaged in 2013 at €92,400, over 15% higher than Luxembourg, who reported €80,000 GVA per person engaged.
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from the Irish data however, the GVA per person engaged would fall to €52,700, a level similar to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.
Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover
Ireland (all enterprises)15.5153035503526
United Kingdom12.4034860688814
Romania10.5094243385099
Croatia10.4369771192804
Cyprus10.1305799399306
Poland10.0287835910578
Denmark9.9499643424601
Italy9.65864442101044
Austria9.5862168792237
Greece9.45772432061149
Germany9.29816620953418
Hungary9.31514184913807
Slovakia9.3323672539805
Czech Republic9.15586741122946
Netherlands9.0259262198547
Ireland (indigenous)8.9
Spain8.77639768120472
Latvia8.55563723934283
Slovenia8.44981117351134
Belgium8.02880118825459
Estonia7.98748929978631
Bulgaria7.78858092682341
Portugal7.76931809285211
Sweden7.8449373979636
Finland7.45923765498621
Lithuania7.11109210638844
France5.88619945199347
Luxembourg5.46752308781909
  • Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover in Ireland was 15.5% in 2013, the highest profitability rate in the EU28.
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from Irish data however, the Gross Operating Surplus figure decreased to 8.9%.
  • The United Kingdom had the second highest level of Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover in 2013 at 12.4%.
Show Table: 9.1 Share of active enterprises across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2013

Show Table: 9.2 Share of persons engaged across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2013

Show Table: 9.3 Share of turnover across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2013

Show Table: 9.4 Share of value added across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2013

Show Table: 9.5 Gross value added per person engaged across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2013

Show Table: 9.6 Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover, EU28 countries, 2013

Go to Appendix>>> Appendices