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External trade

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 two thirds 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.

External trade in goods

Trade in services

Trade in services makes up the remaining third of total euro area external trade. The breakdown by type of service is rather similar for imports and exports, with information and communications technology accounting for the largest share, followed by other business services and transportation.

Trading partners

The non-euro area EU Member States and the euro area’s top ten trading partners outside the EU together account for almost three-quarters of euro area external trade. The United States, the United Kingdom and China are the euro area’s three main trading partners, with emerging market economies continuing to rise in importance. Non-euro area EU Member States also account for a large share of external trade.

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