The Evolving Composition of Intra-EU Trade

November 24, 2016
Wiiw Research Report 414
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EU integration before the crisis and differentiated growth patterns of exports of goods and services resulted in  exporting activities being less concentrated across countries. This pattern was particularly observable for the  trade with goods. However, increased production specialisation has led to more pronounced geographic clustering and export specialisation across Europe. The changes in the geographical patterns of intra-EU trade activities were mostly driven by changes in the patterns of trade in medium-quality goods. These developments were accompanied by a strong increase in EU countries’ bilateral trade intensities. Research results generally suggest a structural break of these trends after the crisis. Results also suggest that intra-firm trade has been more resilient to the financial crisis despite the more difficult global environment for foreign direct investment and export activities.