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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 25.06.2019, 23:41

Recent EU issues for decision-makers, businesses and developers

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 17.01.2019.Print version
"The Baltic Course" continues informing the readers about most interesting aspects of European integration, including business, investments, industrial production and many other things.

Before the crisis in 2009, both business profit and investment rate have been higher than presently: thus, in 2009, investment rate has been at the level of 24%, compared to presently 23;while business profit reduced from about 43% to almost 40%.

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 The household saving rate in the euro area was 12.3% at the end of 2018, compared with about 15% in 2009. The household investment rate in the euro area was about 9% at the end of 2018, compared to about 12% in 2008.

See more in: From Eurostat/11.01.2019.


Compared with the pre-crisis period, industrial production in the EU increased by about 10%. In the euro area in 2018, the production of capital goods fell by 2.3%, durable consumer goods by 1.7%, intermediate goods by 1.2%, non-durable consumer goods by 1.0% and energy by 0.6%.

In the EU, the production of capital goods fell by 1.6%, intermediate goods by 1.1%, durable consumer goods by 1.0%, non-durable consumer goods by 0.6% and energy by 0.5%.

Among the EU states, the largest decreases in industrial production were observed in Ireland (-7.5%), Portugal (-2.5%), Germany and Lithuania (both -1.9%).The highest increases were registered in Estonia (+4.5%), Greece (+3.1%) and Malta (+2.6%).

In the euro area in 2018, compared with 2017, the production of energy fell by 5.2%, capital goods by 4.5%, durable consumer goods by 3.5%, intermediate goods by 3.0% and non-durable consumer goods by 0.1%.

More in: Eurostat/11.01.2019.

On EU trade in goods see:


Average job vacancy rate in the 19-states' euro area was about 2% at the end of 2018; the same as in the EU-28. Among the EU states, the highest job vacancy rates in 2018 were recorded in Czechia (5.9%), Belgium (3.6%), Germany, the Netherlands and Austria (all 3.0%).

In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Greece (0.6%), Spain (0.8%) and Bulgaria (0.9%). Job vacancy rate in 2018 rose in twenty two EU states, remained stable in Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Italy, but fell in Estonia (-0.4%) and Lithuania (-0.1 percentage points). The largest increases were registered in Czechia (+1.8 pp), Cyprus (+0.7 pp), Finland (+0.6 pp), Latvia and the Netherlands (both +0.5 pp).

The job vacancy rate (JVR) measures the proportion of total posts that are vacant, expressed as a percentage: JVR = (number of job vacancies) / (number of occupied posts + number of job vacancies). A job vacancy is defined as a paid post (newly created, unoccupied or about to become vacant) for which the employer is taking active steps to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise concerned and is prepared to take more steps and which the employer intends to fill either immediately or in the near future. Under this definition, a job vacancy should be open to candidates from outside an enterprise. However, this does not exclude the possibility of the employer recruiting an internal candidate for the post. A vacant post that is open only to internal candidates should not be treated as a job vacancy. An occupied post is a paid post within an organisation to which an employee has been assigned.

Source: -Eurostat/14.xii.2018


Social protection expenditure in the EU stood at about 28% of GDP in 2016, (last available figures). The two main sources of funding of social protection were social contributions, making up 55% of total receipts, and general government contributions from taxes at 40%.

The EU average continued to mask major disparities among the states: social protection expenditure represented at least 30% of GDP in France (34%), Finland and Denmark (both 32%) as well as in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands (all 30%).

In contrast, social protection expenditure stood below 20% of GDP in Romania, Latvia and Lithuania (all 15%), Ireland (16%), Estonia and Malta (both 17%), Bulgaria and Slovakia (both 18%) as well as Czechia, Cyprus and Hungary (all 19%). Eurostat-12.xii.2018.


Trade in the EU euro area: export of goods to the rest of the world by the end of 2018 was over €203 billion, an increase of about 2% compared with 2017. Imports from the rest of the world stood at about €184 billion, a rise of 4.7% compared with 2017.  As a result, the euro area recorded a €19.0 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in 2018, compared with + €23.4 bn in 2017. Intra-euro area trade rose to €170.5 bn in 2018, up by 1.5% compared with 2017. Compared to pre-crisis period, the import/export trade balance’s growth increased by almost 80 %.


Estonian trade, €bn, 2018/Intra EU+Extra EU

Export/ intra EU/extra EU     Total import/ intra EU/extra EU    Total trade balance/ intra/extra

13,3                      9             4                15,0                   11,5       3,5                        -1,7                            -2,5/ 0,8


Latvian trade, €bn, 2018/Intra EU+ Extra EU

Export/ intra EU/extra EU     Total import/ intra EU/extra EU    Total trade balance/ intra/extra

12,2                      8,2         4                  15,0 11,2       3,8                        -2,9                           -3,1 /-0,5


Lithuanian trade, €bn, 2018/ Intra EU+Extra EU

Export/ intraEU/extra EU     Total import/ intra EU/extra EU    Total trade balance/ intra/extra

26,1         15,4         10,7                    28,6    19,4           9,2                      -2,6               -4,1 / 1,5 


Among EU-28, the negative trade balance (in €bn) is registered in 15 states with the biggest in the UK (-144 bn), France (- about 74 bn), Spain (-32bn), Greece (-20bn) and Portugal (-15,5 bn). Biggest positive trade balance is registered in 4 member states: Germany + 216,5 bn, the Netherlands + 60,4, Ireland + 45,8 bn and Italy + 36,1 bn. The rest seven states are having quite small but positive trade balance. 

Source: Eurostat statistics in:




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