Exports of goods to the rest of the world surged 8 percent to EUR 182.9 billion in April from last year's EUR 169.3 billion, and imports jumped 8.1 percent to EUR 166.2 billion from EUR 153.7 billion in April 2017. Intra-euro area trade increased 9.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 157.4 billion in April.
Considering the first four months of the year, the trade surplus widened to EUR 64.4 billion from EUR 58.7 billion in the same period of 2017, as exports grew 3.8 percent to EUR 738.2 billion and imports increased 3.2 percent to EUR 673.8 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union trade deficit narrowed to EUR 1.0 billion in April from EUR 1.4 billion a year ago. Exports went up 6.8 percent to EUR 154.8 billion from EUR 144.9 billion in April 2017, and imports rose 6.6 percent to EUR 155.9 billion from EUR 146.3 billion.
In January to April, the EU trade deficit decreased to EUR 8.3 billion from EUR 10.4 billion in the same period of 2017. Exports went up 2.7 percent to EUR 625.7 billion, boosted by higher sales of chemicals (6.3 percent), other manufactured goods (4.5 percent), machinery and vehicles (2.1 percent), and energy (1.5 percent). By contrast, exports of food and drink fell 0.8 percent and those of raw materials were unchanged. Exports grew to the US (3.0 percent), China (2.7 percent), Russia (4.9 percent) and Turkey (11.7 percent), but dropped to Switzerland (-3.2 percent). Imports rose at a slower 2.3 percent to EUR 634.0 billion, boosted by purchases of energy (8.4 percent), other manufactured goods (2.1 percent), machinery and vehicles (1.9 percent), and raw materials (0.8 percent). Meanwhile, imports fell for both food and drink (-3.7 percent) and chemicals (-1.6 percent). Imports rose mainly from China (2.3 percent), Russia (3.5 percent) and Turkey (8.6 percent), but declined from the US (-3.1 percent) and Switzerland (-2.2 percent).