The Euro Area trade surplus narrowed to EUR 17.0 billion in December 2018 from EUR 24.5 billion in the same month of the previous year.
Exports of goods to the rest of the world fell 2.5 percent to EUR 176.5 billion in December from last year's EUR 181.0 billion, while imports rose 1.9 percent to EUR 159.5 billion from EUR 156.5 billion. Intra-euro area trade decreased 1.2 percent year-on-year to EUR 142.6 billion in December.
Considering 2018 full year, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 194.2 billion from EUR 234.9 billion in 2017, as exports grew 3.7 percent to EUR 2,276.3 billion and imports increased at a faster 6.2 percent to EUR 2,082.1 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union trade surplus shrank to EUR 0.7 billion in December from EUR 13.1 billion a year ago. Exports dropped 3.9 percent to EUR 153.9 billion from EUR 160.1 billion, while imports rose 4.3 percent to EUR 153.2 billion from EUR 146.9 billion.
In 2018, the EU recorded a EUR 22.6 billion trade deficit, compared to a EUR 22.2 billion surplus in 2017. Imports rose 6.5 percent to EUR 1,977.5 billion, boosted by purchases of energy (23.4 percent), raw materials (4.1 percent), machinery and vehicles (3.9 percent), chemicals (3.6 percent), other manufactured goods (3.7 percent), and food and drink (0.3 percent). Imports rose mainly from the US (3.9 percent), China (5 percent), Russia (16 percent), Turkey (9 percent) and Norway (13.3 percent), but declined from Switzerland (-1.4 percent). Exports went up at a softer 4 percent to EUR 1,954.9 billion, boosted by sales of energy (14.9 percent), chemicals (6.9 percent), other manufactured goods (3.6 percent), raw materials (2.6 percent), machinery and vehicles (1.8 percent), and food and drink (0.2 percent). Exports grew to the US (8 percent), China (6.2 percent), Switzerland (4.2 percent) and Norway (6.1 percent), but dropped to Russia (-0.8 percent) and Turkey (-9 percent).
2/15/2019 10:13:47 AM