Total service exports increased by €18.2bn from €161.8bn in 2017 to €180.1bn in 2018. Total service imports decreased by €19.7bn from €205.3bn in 2017 to €185.6bn in 2018. The increase in service exports was principally due to increased computer service exports (+€18.1bn) while the decrease in service imports was predominantly due to decreased R&D service imports related to Intellectual Property (IP) (-€32.3bn). As a result, the services deficit moved from €43.5bn in 2017 to €5.6bn in 2018. UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands remain Ireland’s most significant trading partners.
Computer services exports at €86.2bn remains the largest export category and accounted for 47.9% of total service exports in 2018. Other business services imports, the residual import category, at €72.2bn, along with royalties/licences imports at €72.2bn, were the largest import categories. When combined, these two import categories accounted for 77.7% of total service imports in 2018 (see Table 1).