Euro Area External Trade Surplus Widens in March

The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in March 2012 gave a 8.6 bn euro surplus, compared with +1.0 bn in March 2011. The February 2012 balance was +2.3 bn, compared with -2.9 bn in February 2011. In March 2012 compared with February 2012, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.9% and imports by 1.1%.

The EU27 deficit for energy increased (-70.3 bn euro in January-February 2012 compared with -61.6 bn in January-February 2011), as did the surplus for manufactured goods (+41.4 bn compared with +26.9 bn).

EU27 exports to most of its major partners grew in January-February 2012 compared with January-February 2011, except for Turkey (-4%) and India (-1%), while exports to Norway remained stable. The most notable increases were recorded for exports to Switzerland (+29%), Russia (+22%) and Brazil (+20%). As regards EU27 imports, the largest increases were recorded for imports from Norway (+14%), USA and Russia (both +12%). Imports from Japan and Turkey fell (both -3%), while imports from India remained stable.

The EU27 trade surplus increased with the USA (+12.0 bn euro in January-February 2012 compared with +11.2 bn in January-February 2011) and Switzerland (+7.9 bn compared with +3.3 bn), and remained almost unchanged with Turkey (+3.2 bn compared with +3.3 bn). The EU27 trade deficit fell with China (-26.5 bn compared with -28.0 bn) and Japan (-2.0 bn compared with -3.5 bn), but increased with Russia (-17.9 bn compared with -17.2 bn) and Norway (-10.6 bn compared with -8.4 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+27.8 bn euro in January-February 2012), followed by the Netherlands (+7.2 bn) and Ireland (+6.8 bn). The United Kingdom (-23.7 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-15.6 bn), Spain (-7.1 bn) and Italy (-5.5 bn)., Eurostat
5/16/2012 2:52:37 PM