Total service exports increased by €24.6bn from €135.1bn in 2016 to €159.7bn in 2017. Total service imports decreased by €20.8bn from €198.8bn in 2016 to €178.1bn in 2017. The increase in service exports was mainly due to increased Computer service exports (+€11.2bn) while the decrease in service imports was predominantly due to decreased Research and Development (R&D) service imports related to Intellectual Property (IP) (-€31bn). As a result, the service deficit moved from €63.7bn in 2016 to €18.4bn in 2017. UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands remain Ireland’s most significant trading partners.
Computer services at €69.3bn remains the largest export category and accounted for 43% of total service exports in 2017. Other Business services, the residual import category at €72.9bn was the largest import category followed by Royalties/Licences at €66.6bn. When combined, these two import categories accounted for 78% of total service imports in 2017 (see Table 1).