Euro Area Trade Surplus Narrows in April


The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in April 2012 gave a 5.2 bn euro surplus, compared with -4.5 bn in April 2011. The March 2012 balance was +7.5 bn, compared with +0.9 bn in March 2011.

In April 2012 compared with March 2012, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.3% and imports by 3.0%.

The first estimate for the April 2012 extra-EU271 trade in goods balance was a 12.0 bn euro deficit, compared with -17.2 bn in April 2011. In March 20122 the balance was -7.3 bn, compared with -13.1 bn in March 2011. In April 2012 compared with March 2012, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 1.8% and imports by 2.2%.

The EU27 deficit for energy increased (-109.9 bn euro in January-March 2012 compared with -94.1 bn in January-March 2011), as did the surplus for manufactured goods (+76.7 bn compared with +49.4 bn).

EU27 exports to most of its major partners grew in January-March 2012 compared with January-March 2011, except for Turkey (-6%) and Switzerland (-1%), while exports to India remained stable. The most notable increases were recorded for exports to Russia and Brazil (both +20%). As regards EU27 imports, the pattern was mixed. The largest increases were recorded for imports from Norway (+14%), Russia and the USA (both +10%), and the largest falls with India and Japan (both -7%).

The EU27 trade surplus increased with the USA (+18.1 bn euro in January-March 2012 compared with +16.2 bn in January-March 2011), but fell with Switzerland (+11.5 bn compared with +12.7 bn) and Turkey (+5.6 bn compared with +6.2 bn). The EU27 trade deficit fell with China (-34.0 bn compared with -38.9 bn) and Japan (-3.3 bn compared with -6.3 bn), increased with Norway (-15.7 bn compared with -12.4 bn), and remained nearly stable with Russia (-26.7 bn compared with -26.3 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+45.0 bn euro in January-March 2012), followed by the Netherlands (+11.8 bn) and Ireland (+10.3 bn). The United Kingdom (-37.1 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-21.6 bn) and Spain (-10.7 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
6/17/2012 11:38:31 AM