Statistics in Focus. Trade and services in Candidate Countries Over 7 million employees in 1998.
This Statistics in Focus gives a snapshot of 11 candidate countries' trade and services activities. The turnover of these candidate countries' trade and service enterprises amounted to more than 350 billion EUR in 1998. Employment in both these sectors rose in most candidate countries in the three years to 1998. Turnover per head is much higher in the trade sector than in services although profitability, at least expressed in share of value added to turnover, is higher in the latter sector. Cyprus and Slovenia have the highest unit personnel costs among the 11 applicant countries covered in this report. Romania recorded the highest percentage of gross investment in tangible goods as a share of turnover in trade and services in 1998. Structural Business Statistics fSBS) provide standardised data for a whole range of economic activities within the European Union (EU). This wealth of information reflects the economic patterns and dynamics within regions, countries and (sub-) sectors. The EU's future enlargement raised the need for the extension of the SBS data coverage to the candidate countries. The collection process for SBS data from the candidate countries has recently started. Inevitably, there are still a few methodological divergences between the various candidate countries' data that need to be smoothed out over the coming years (see methodological notes). Furthermore, all the candidate countries' data are expressed in current ECU/EUR, which does not reflect the actual purchasing power of the candidate countries' currencies. Nevertheless, the available data present useful gauges foran analysis of the candidate countries' economic sectors.