These days, people in the US, most of the EU and some other countries live in economies that are dominated (more than 7 or 80% of GDP) by Services.
So let's look at today's press release by Eurostat re the EU's trade balance in Services in 2008. It is quite insightful, IMO, as to the role of Services in the EU.\
In 2008, EU (27 members) external trade in services recorded a surplus of 78.4 billion euro, compared with a surplus of 86.9 bn in 2007 and a surplus of 71.4 bn in 2006.
In 2008 compared to 2007,
1) smaller surpluses were recorded in
a) financial services (+30.7 bn euro in 2008 compared with +33.3 bn in 2007) and
b) "other business services", which includes miscellaneous business, professional & technical services (+33.1 bn compared with +35.6 bn)
2) increased deficits were recorded in
a) royalties & licence fees (-13.8 bn compared with -8.5 bn) and
b) travel (-20.3 bn compared with -18.7 bn).
Their negative effect on the trade balance was partially offset by increased surpluses in:
* transportation (+24.1 bn compared with +19.9 bn),
* computer & information services (+17.3 bn compared with +14.8 bn) and
* insurance services (+7.6 bn compared with +6.8 bn).
In 2008, the EU (27 members) continued to record a surplus in trade in services with all its main trading partners.
An increased surplus with
a) EFTA (+26.0 bn in 2008 compared with +23.4 bn in 2007)
b) Brazil (+3.0 bn compared with +2.0 bn) and
c) China (+4.9 bn compared with +4.0 bn).
Smaller surpluses were registered with:
a)the USA (+1.7 bn compared with +9.0 bn),
b)India (+0.6 bn compared with +2.6 bn) and
c)Japan (+4.7 bn compared with +5.7 bn),
Stable surpluses with:
a) Russia (+7.5 bn compared with +7.9 bn),
b) Canada (+2.0 bn compared with +2.2 bn) and
c) Hong Kong (+0.9 bn compared with +0.6 bn)