Euro Area Trade Surplus Widens in May


The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in May 2012 gave a 6.9 bn euro surplus, compared with -1.2 bn in May 2011. The April 2012 balance was +3.7 bn, compared with -4.5 bn in April 2011.


In May 2012 compared with April 2012, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.3% while imports fell by 0.9%.

The first estimate for the May 2012 extra-EU271 trade in goods balance was a 3.8 bn euro deficit, compared with -14.5 bn in May 2011. In April 20122 the balance was -12.6 bn, compared with -17.1 bn in April 2011. In May 2012 compared with April 2012, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.7% while imports fell by 1.7%.

The EU27 deficit for energy increased (-144.8 bn euro in January-April 2012 compared with -125.9 bn in January-April 2011), as did the surplus for manufactured goods (+103.0 bn compared with +68.3 bn).

EU27 exports to most of its major partners grew in January-April 2012 compared with January-April 2011, except for Turkey (-5%) and India (-1%). The most notable increases were recorded for exports to Russia (+19%) and Brazil (+18%). As regards EU27 imports, the pattern was mixed.

The largest increases were recorded for imports from Norway (+13%), the USA (+8%) and Russia (+7%), and the largest falls with India (-10%) and Japan (-8%).

The EU27 trade surplus increased with the USA (+23.8 bn euro in January-April 2012 compared with +21.1 bn in January-April 2011), but fell with Switzerland (+14.6 bn compared with +15.7 bn) and Turkey (+7.7 bn compared with +8.4 bn). The EU27 trade deficit fell with China (-44.5 bn compared with -50.1 bn), Russia (-35.0 bn compared with -36.1 bn) and Japan (-4.5 bn compared with -8.4 bn), but increased with Norway (-20.6 bn compared with -17.0 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+59.3 bn euro in January-April 2012), followed by the Netherlands (+16.2 bn) and Ireland (+13.4 bn). The United Kingdom (-51.8 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-29.0 bn) and Spain (-15.3 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
7/16/2012 7:38:59 PM