Australia has experienced its strongest services trade growth since 2007, led by the business and travel sectors. Services trade increased 9.1 per cent year-on-year to $124.8 billion in 2013, according to ‘Trade in Services, Australia 2013’ released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The services sector is a critical part of our economy, representing about 70 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) and employing four out of five Australians. Services exports rose 7.6 per cent to $55.1 billion. Imports rose 10.4 per cent to $69.7 billion. Export and import volumes were up 5.1 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.
Exports of business services rose 18.9 per cent to $14.9 billion of which the biggest rises occurred in financial services (up 51.7 per cent to $2.5 billion) and professional and management consulting services (up 18.9 per cent to $4.6 billion). Other personal travel–mainly expenditure in Australia by visitors on holiday or and visiting friends and relatives – rose 8.0 per cent to $13.1 billion.
Other highlights from the publication include:
- Australia's top three services export markets were China (up 9.4 per cent to $6.9 billion), the United States (up 13.4 per cent to $6.0 billion) and the United Kingdom (up 4.5 per cent to $4.0 billion)
- Australia's top three services import sources were the United States (up 13.5 per cent to $12.4 billion), the United Kingdom (up 13.8 per cent to $5.8 billion) and Singapore (up 15.1 per cent to $4.9 billion)
- Australia's largest services import, Other personal travel (excluding education-related), rose 10.2 per cent to $24.7 billion after falling 0.5 per cent in 2012
- the number of short-term international visitor arrivals in Australia rose 5.8 per cent to 6.4 million in 2013 – indicating strong tourism export growth.
The Department publishes an extensive range of trade and economic statistics, which are available publicly on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. To assist Australian businesses, the Department also offers a trade data consultancy service, which can produce reports tailored to specific requirements. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.