The value of service exports, which include insurance, legal advice and financial and computer services, rose by €6.3 billion last year, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
However, the service deficit jumped from €6.1 billion to €29.4 billion due to a sharp increase in imports.
Service exports rose from €105.3 billion in the previous year to €121.6 billion, while imports were up €39.5 billion to €151 billion.
The largest export category was for computer services, which at €57.4 billion accounted for 47 per cent of total service exports recorded last year.
When combined, the two largest import categories, “other business” and royalties/licences, accounted for 83.2 per cent of total service imports during the year under review. In 2015, royalties and licences-related imports totalled €67.8 billion, while “other business” accounted for €57.9 billion of service imports.
Service exports to the UK increased by €3.7 billion between 2014 and 2015 and also rose sharply in Germany and France.
Exports to Asia jumped by €4.5 billion, mainly in computer services, with exports to China up €2 billion.
Service imports from the US increased by €5.2 billion last year and by €4.3 billion from Asia.