Euro Area Trade Deficit Shrinks


The first estimate for the euro area (EA16) trade balance with the rest of the world in January 2009 gave a 10.5 bn euro deficit, compared with -11.1 bn in January 2008.

The December 2008 balance was -1.7 bn, compared with -4.5 bn in December 2007. In January 2009 compared with December 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 10.7% and imports by 7.3%.

The first estimate for the January 2009 extra-EU27 trade balance was a deficit of 26.3 bn euro, compared with -30.3 bn in January 2008. In December 20082, the balance was -11.0 bn, compared with -17.7 bn in December 2007. In January 2009 compared with December 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 16.7% and imports by 8.1%.

The EU27 energy deficit increased (-363.3 bn euro in 2008 compared with -271.6 bn in 2007), while the surplus for machinery and vehicles rose (+155.2 bn compared with +124.9 bn).


EU27 trade with most of its major partners grew, with the exception of exports to the USA (-5% in 2008 compared with 2007) and Japan (-3%), and imports from Japan and South Korea (both -5%) and Turkey (-2%). The largest increases were recorded for exports to Brazil (+24%) and Russia (+18%), and for imports from Russia and Norway (both +20%). The EU27 trade surplus fell with the USA (+63.1 bn in 2008 compared with +79.8 bn in 2007), while it increased with Switzerland (+17.6 bn compared with +16.0 bn) and Turkey (+8.4 bn compared with +5.7 bn). The EU27 trade deficit grew with China (-169.2 bn compared with -160.7 bn), Russia (-68.1 bn compared with -55.1 bn) and Norway (-48.3 bn compared with -33.1 bn), but decreased with Japan (-32.4 bn compared with -34.6 bn), South Korea (-13.7 bn compared with -16.6 bn) and Brazil (-9.2 bn compared with -11.5 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+175.5 bn euro in 2008), followed by the Netherlands (+40.5 bn) and Ireland (+28.0 bn). The United Kingdom (-118.0 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by Spain (-90.5 bn), France (-67.9 bn), Greece (-35.7 bn), Poland (-24.6 bn), Portugal (-23.2 bn) and Romania (-22.7 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
3/23/2009 5:40:17 AM