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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 2014 as data for 2015 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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FinancialDistributionConstructionServicesIndustry
Belgium2.0311041892607624.03528462256316.52547983555750.86761330676696.54051804585235
Bulgaria1.3765024038461542.35306490384626.0144230769230839.843149038461510.4128605769231
Czech Republic2.8291317896961523.977026451868616.788791100196238.012807655240218.3922430029989
Denmark3.1042393099651319.286566342448214.351715911176454.27371994861448.98375848779593
Germany 2.2363131448583723.181980079720813.859373159701449.197789442166911.5245441735525
Estonia1.1631230350552424.208119493494712.581859754203351.319075963366610.7278217538802
Ireland2.7672845102582219.147275108290519.873828951344851.28731405929956.92429737080689
Spain2.6609527199898928.720870353285515.493894510290445.92854124517487.19574117125943
France1.9613930007901325.743554029825917.900588470614845.88559643930478.50886805946441
Croatia0.68408214436586125.813880599048812.509027976506846.182358311870614.8106509682079
Italy2.3769458119370629.828508323716813.988112801264742.742598187154111.0638348759274
Cyprus3.9657173103153432.678487815801814.891797805419337.497200789886210.9667962785774
Latvia1.576565424494227.23536576912039.3326335178601551.043286227829610.8121490606958
Lithuania2.5580584184706834.112696340969415.764098294252736.374836851343411.1903100949638
Luxembourg5.2262689624271924.057479357357711.275043205530356.3784164373043.06279203738078
Hungary3.9616287845411825.151803056365410.65034919491750.61046856862659.62575039554992
Netherlands2.8117195737187322.376512504486114.388015627585954.4231051738026.00064712040717
Austria2.6282877418832323.0537973552759.6517453231343255.83128265110938.83488692859814
Poland3.4585512055182831.836248993961314.957610590192936.940062312679312.8075268976482
Portugal2.0737715855276627.92630394336349.7991183260783651.45254645656218.7482596884685
Romania1.5407775999724239.21829167037769.1535922268732539.523114536976610.5642239658001
Slovenia1.4479256100932819.566640958104714.648787089451248.836566306261715.500080036089
Slovakia1.4780844026142126.308532713032520.317211750713936.015723622185615.8804475114537
Finland2.1224745411969720.261190981865716.963459129771850.152140173174310.5007351739912
Sweden1.9702773981173119.150287793327814.312114820325156.24028886584958.32703112238023
United Kingdom1.770878634312118.620702087243814.302903844377258.19180650351187.11370893055515
  • In 2014, Ireland's largest sector for active enterprises was the Services sector at 51%. This was higher than the EU average of 46.7% but lower than the United Kingdom figure 58%  
  • 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 and Germany at 14%. Bulgaria experienced the smallest percentage share in Construction at 6% 
FinancialDistributionConstructionServicesIndustry
Belgium4.3614712150696622.171586918447610.572458297106443.201554776434719.6929287929417
Bulgaria3.1864763357197525.83022720511417.5570551163033931.555081273778331.8711600690845
Czech Republic3.0260507952965219.52631925415759.9361664486081331.190085330831836.321378171106
Denmark6.0649294759072423.81237655789999.6495313118991838.119661529955322.3535011243384
Germany 3.9195904756396820.90256790808757.6026053204815738.345838333970329.229397961821
Estonia2.2913201089566121.372152348096810.020912932566638.006239745494828.3093748648852
Ireland7.2293075498523225.24681647406757.4841245275580844.260210104092715.7795413444294
Spain3.4601802506514426.126035921034310.278821148699942.763206541510917.3717561381034
France4.938839512832522.805025748786412.530715008357639.555347207901120.1700725221224
Croatia4.0191763171904122.436792605689.8655227484897334.185131892634229.4933764360056
Italy3.8983474905631522.52270169468529.2396878556380837.446206695487526.893056263626
Cyprus8.1265419315337427.06551295672698.3633465991968442.605481622877313.8391168896652
Latvia2.7591823914864325.226788441641610.859825343646838.891985268758922.2622185544662
Lithuania2.1107628412058427.072607119018512.238325910370234.091796226974824.4865079024306
Luxembourg13.34252843721117.432294286595214.338195920619242.665714702971112.2212666526036
Hungary3.4398105841936121.13531622351657.4897481835180838.332973416420529.6021515923513
Netherlands4.2224942118116526.069427264897.735376715192348.543942657290213.4287591508158
Austria4.2614263929516822.70500467706539.9839218570839940.148569927556522.9010771453426
Poland4.1793862308765625.17459176364810.060174044093128.399151147662932.1866968137195
Portugal3.2185131045990824.07264061304129.8585984932439739.461379248925423.3888685401903
Romania2.3750412814135924.09074978601069.1098331123634330.693633659829633.7307421603827
Slovenia3.6237765418021518.717893817853510.502860614148232.173651810062534.9818172161336
Slovakia2.5374478938040822.200438174313110.048220171109832.236454029425532.9774397313476
Finland3.0301540009238319.874573101570412.635010713703240.478001735607523.9822604481951
Sweden3.0510757099770320.730786691828311.751420214046843.771222779840120.6954946043078
United Kingdom5.0399430127642124.45386237200417.0096867553041949.312066020166514.184441839761
  • Industry accounted for 15.8% of the total number of persons employed in Ireland in 2014. There were only four countries with a lower percentage: Luxembourg with 12.2%, the Netherlands with 13.4%, and Cyprus and the United Kingdom with 13.8% and 14.2% respectively
  • Ireland's largest sector for employment was Services at 44.3%. Only two countries had a higher percentage of persons employed in this sector - the United Kingdom with 49.3% and the Netherlands at 48.5%
  • Ireland and Hungary had the second lowest percentage share of persons employed in Construction in the EU, both at 7.5% of total employment; the smallest percentage share was the United Kingdom at 7% 
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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 47.2164.232.6
Germany39.974295094499318.37078950781186.1763782429748335.478537154714
Italy38.477530668012619.77865894438247.7541495201473233.9896608674577
Spain44.419022454021823.18199007072197.946103932392124.4528835428643
France45.678048370968619.97230788312310.513589520394223.8360542255142
United Kingdom54.750071964001719.41702923819679.1860840676530116.6468147301486
  • The Manufacturing sector in Ireland accounted for a greater share of total GVA at 32.6%, compared to the Manufacturing sectors in Spain (24.5%), France (23.8%) and the United Kingdom (16.6%)
  • The Construction sector in Ireland had the lowest share of total GVA at 4.2%, than any of the other selected EU countries
  • The Services sector accounted for 47.2% of total GVA in Ireland in 2014, while the United Kingdom recorded the highest percentage of total GVA for the Services sector at 54.8%
GVA per person employed
Ireland (all enterprises)92800
Luxembourg85600
Denmark73700
Belgium69000
Sweden67900
United Kingdom63000
Austria60600
Finland57200
Netherlands56300
France55900
Ireland (indigenous)54900
Germany53600
Italy43500
Spain38400
Cyprus32300
Slovenia31100
Estonia24100
Czech Republic22500
Portugal22100
Greece21700
Slovakia20300
Hungary20100
Poland19800
Croatia18500
Latvia15600
Lithuania15300
Bulgaria9800
  • Ireland recorded the highest figure in the EU28 for GVA per person employed in 2014 at €92,800, over 8% higher than Luxembourg, who reported €85,600 GVA per person employed
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from the Irish data, however, the GVA per person employed would fall to €54,900, a level similar to France and Germany
Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover
United Kingdom14.4
Ireland (all enterprises)14
Croatia10.9
Romania10.7
Cyprus10.5
Denmark10.3
Poland10.2
Ireland (indigenous)10.1
Italy10
Germany9.9
Czech Republic9.9
Hungary9.9
Greece9.6
Austria9.5
Netherlands9.4
Slovenia9.3
Spain9
Latvia8.9
Lithuania8.8
Slovakia8.7
Belgium8.4
Sweden8.4
Bulgaria8.3
Portugal8.3
Estonia8.3
Finland7.8
France6
Luxembourg5.9
  • Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover in Ireland was 14% in 2014, the second highest profitability rate in the EU28
  • The United Kingdom had the highest level of Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover in 2014 at 14.4%
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from Irish data, however, the Gross Operating Surplus figure would decrease to 10.1%
Show Table: 9.1 Share of active enterprises across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2014

Show Table: 9.2 Share of persons employed across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2014

Show Table: 9.3 Share of turnover across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2014

Show Table: 9.4 Share of value added across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2014

Show Table: 9.5 Gross value added per person employed across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2014

Show Table: 9.6 Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover, EU28 countries, 2014

Go to Appendices>>> Appendices