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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 2015 as data for 2016 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
Belgium2.0311041892607623.616.751.26.54051804585235
Bulgaria1.3765024038461541.56.0144230769230840.810.3
Czech Republic2.723.716.938.118.6
Denmark3.3512274898594618.985207291945814.412495726653754.31631078546428.93475870607693
Germany 2.2363131448583722.913.849.511.6
Estonia1.1631230350552423.912.851.410.7278217538802
Ireland2.818.720.351.26.9
Greece2.231.78.948.29
Spain2.828.415.146.77
France1.9613930007901325.417.846.58.4
Croatia0.68408214436586125.61247.114.6
Italy2.429.613.643.411
Cyprus4.2733690600961132.207478890229214.497023868377938.470209021337210.5519191599597
Latvia1.725.91051.810.6
Lithuania0.43315.839.211.6
Luxembourg5.2262689624271923.511.275043205530357.13
Hungary3.924.810.850.99.62575039554992
Netherlands2.722.214.388015627585954.76.00064712040717
Austria2.823.59.655.28.9
Poland3.430.815.137.912.8075268976482
Portugal1.927.19.552.88.6
Romania1.438.99.439.610.7
Slovenia1.4479256100932819.314.150.115.2
Slovakia1.825.419.537.615.6
Finland2.22016.963459129771850.410.4
Sweden2.118.814.456.58.2
United Kingdom1.917.714.4597.1
  • In 2015, Ireland's largest sector for active enterprises was the Services sector accounting for 51.2% of all enterprises. This was higher than the EU average of 47.4% but lower than the United Kingdom where the Services sector accounted for 59% of all enterprises 
  • Ireland had the largest percentage share of active enterprises in the EU for Construction, 20.3% of enterprises
  • The EU average for share of total enterprises for Construction was 14.4%. Bulgaria experienced the smallest percentage share in Construction at 6% 
FinancialDistributionConstructionServicesIndustry
Belgium4.322.110.444.119.1
Bulgaria3.125.47.53232
Czech Republic2.919.21030.437.4
Denmark4.524103922.5
Germany 3.820.77.638.928.9
Estonia2.321.610.238.227.7
Ireland724.77.744.815.8
Greece3.828.56.746.314.8
Spain3.226.410.243.316.9
France522.611.940.320.1
Croatia3.822.19.734.429.9
Italy3.922.4938.226.6
Cyprus8.326.98.34313.5
Latvia2.824.910.540.121.8
Lithuania1.826.711.535.124.9
Luxembourg13.116.914.243.712
Hungary3.2217.638.829.4
Netherlands4.225.97.649.113.2
Austria4.222.79.940.222.9
Poland424.99.92932.1
Portugal323.89.640.323.2
Romania2.223.89.331.333.4
Slovenia3.518.210.532.934.9
Slovakia2.6229.832.932.7
Finland319.512.741.123.7
Sweden320.6124420.3
United Kingdom4.923.9750.313.9
  • Industry accounted for 15.8% of the total number of persons employed in Ireland in 2015. There were only five countries with a lower percentage: Luxembourg (12%), the Netherlands (13.2%), Cyprus (13.5%) and the United Kingdom and Greece with 13.9% and 14.8% respectively
  • Ireland's largest sector for employment was Services at 44.8%. Only three countries had a higher percentage of persons employed in this sector - the United Kingdom (50.3%), the Netherlands (49.1%) and Greece (46.3%)
  • Ireland was among the seven countries which had the lowest percentage share of persons employed in Construction in the EU (7.7%); Greece had the lowest percentage share of persons employed in Construction in the EU (6.7%) 
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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 is not possible to include the Financial and Insurance Activities sector.  

Services (ex. Finance)DistributionConstructionManufacturing
Ireland 34.4113.351.3
Germany38.819.26.335.7
Italy38.4207.633.9896608674577
Spain44.723.48.123.9
France46.919.89.523.9
United Kingdom55.418.59.416.7
  • The Manufacturing sector in Ireland accounted for the highest share of total GVA at 51.3%
  • The Construction sector in Ireland had the lowest share of total GVA at 3.3%
  • The Services sector accounted for 34.4% of total GVA in Ireland in 2015, while the United Kingdom recorded the highest percentage of total GVA for the Services sector (55.4%)
GVA per person employed
Ireland (all enterprises)135600
Luxembourg87500
Denmark77500
Belgium71000
United Kingdom70700
Sweden69800
Austria62700
France61300
Ireland (indigenous)59700
Finland59600
Netherlands58200
Germany54100
Italy45200
Spain39300
Cyprus32100
Slovenia31900
Estonia24400
Czech Republic23900
Portugal22700
Slovakia21400
Hungary21000
Greece20300
Poland20000
Croatia19900
Lithuania16400
Latvia15800
Romania12900
Bulgaria11200
  • Ireland recorded the highest figure in the EU28 for GVA per person employed in 2015 at €135,600, over 35% higher than the next hightest, Luxembourg, who reported €87,500 GVA per person employed
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from the Irish data the GVA per person employed would fall to more than €59,700, a level similar to France and Finland
Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover
Ireland (all enterprises)19.5
United Kingdom16.2
Croatia11.4
Cyprus11.2
Denmark11
Italy10.5
Czech Republic10.4
Hungary10.3
Austria10.1
Netherlands10
Poland9.9
Slovenia9.7
Germany9.6
Lithuania9.6
Bulgaria9.5
Spain9.3
Slovakia9.1
Belgium9
Sweden9
Greece8.9
Romania8.9
Portugal8.8
Latvia8.8
Ireland (indigenous)8.7
Estonia8.2
Finland8
France6.4
Luxembourg6.4
  • Gross Operating Surplus as a percentage of Turnover in Ireland was 19.5% in 2015, the highest profitability rate in the EU28
  • If Foreign-owned enterprises were excluded from Irish data the Gross Operating Surplus figure would fall to 8.7%
Show Table: 9.1 Share of active enterprises across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2015

Show Table: 9.2 Share of persons employed across broad sectors in selected EU countries, 2015

Show Table: 9.3 Share of turnover across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2015

Show Table: 9.4 Share of value added across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2015

Show Table: 9.5 Gross value added per person employed across broad sectors in EU28 countries, 2015

Show Table: 9.6 Gross operating surplus as a percentage of turnover, EU28 countries, 2015

Go to Appendices>>> Appendices