The euro area economy is relatively open, particularly when compared with other major economies, such as the United States, China or Japan. Its trade openness has noticeably increased since 2004, primarily as a result of growing trade with new EU Member States and China. Currently extra-euro area imports and exports of goods and services amount to around half of euro area GDP.
Trade in goods
Trade in goods accounts for about three-quarters of total euro area external trade. Energy and raw materials together tend to represent a large share of imports from outside the euro area, while exports are more focused on processed goods, in particular machinery and transport equipment. This reflects increasing globalisation, the international division of labour and the scarcity of raw materials in the euro area.
Trade in services
Trade in services makes up for the remaining quarter of total euro area external trade. The breakdown by service classification type of trade flows for services is rather similar for imports and exports, with other business services accounting for the largest share, followed by transportation and travel services.
The non-euro area EU Member States and the euro area’s top ten trading partners outside the EU together account for about three-quarters of euro area external trade. The United Kingdom, the United States and China are the euro area’s three main trading partners, with a continued rise in the importance of emerging market economies. Non-euro area EU Member States also account for a large share of external trade.