Services sector down in the EU during pandemic, less in Romania, Bulgaria

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To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Member States have taken a wide variety of restrictive measures. Among other limitations, bars, restaurants and hotels were closed in almost all countries affecting the volume of services production, according to a latest Eurostat survey.

In March 2020, the volume of services production in the EU fell by 11.3% compared with February 2020.

  • The strongest declines were recorded for hotels and restaurants which dropped by 48.5% in the EU.
  • Administrative and support services (e.g. employment services, security, cleaning) which are usually bought by businesses dropped by 8.4%.
  • Transportation services (land, water, air) dropped by 7.2%.
  • Professional and scientific services (legal services, accounting, marketing etc.) declined by 4.6%
  • Information and communication services fell by only 2.3%.

Looking at quarterly services production (monthly data generally not available by Member State) for the first quarter of 2020 in comparison with the last quarter of 2019, there was a reduction of 2.8% in the EU. The strongest decline was recorded in Malta (-15.7%), while in some countries the value for the total first quarter was still positive (Bulgaria +3.6% and Romania +4.7%). Transport services declined by 3.3% in the EU with the strongest reduction recorded in Latvia (-10.5%). Hotels and restaurants saw a decline of 15.2% in the EU, with a particularly strong decrease in Italy (-24.8%), Cyprus (-23.1%) and Malta (-22.1%).

Read more about the mpact of Covid-19 crisis on services here.

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