Exports rose 7.1 percent to EUR 203.4 billion in May from last year's EUR 189.9 billion, while imports increased at a softer 4.2 percent to EUR 180.3 billion from EUR 173.0 billion. Intra-euro area trade advanced 4.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 172.0 billion in May. Considering the first five months of the year, the trade surplus was at EUR 82.7 billion, compared to EUR 80.5 in the same period a year ago, with exports rising 5 percent to EUR 973.5 billion and imports increasing 5.2 percent to EUR 890.8 billion.
Meantime, the European Union trade surplus rose sharply to EUR 7.8 billion from EUR 0.4 billion a year earlier,
as exports jumped 10.7 percent to EUR 178.5 billion and imports advanced a slower 6.1 percent to EUR 170.7 billion. Considering the first five months of the year, the European Union recorded a trade gap of EUR 14.2 billion, compared to a EUR 9.9 billion deficit in the same period of 2018. The trade surplus with the US rose to EUR 62.1 billion from EUR 55.4 billion, while the trade shortfall with China went up to EUR 76.7 billion from EUR 69.2 billion.
Exports advanced 6.1 percent year-on-year to EUR 833.9 billion in January-May, mostly driven by higher sales of food & drink (10.5 percent), raw materials (7.5 percent), energy (0.5 percent), chemicals (8.4 percent), machinery & vehicles (4.8 percent) and other manufactured goods (5.6 percent). Among major trade partners, exports grew to the US (12.7 percent), China (11.1 percent), Switzerland (8.6 percent), Russia (3.5 percent), Japan (10.6 percent), Norway (9.2 percent), India (0.6 percent) and Canada (8.9 percent), but fell to Turkey (-19.9 percent) and South Korea (-4.3 percent).
Imports went up at a faster 6.6 percent to EUR 848.1 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of food & drink (6.4 percent), raw materials (4.1 percent), energy (2.2 percent), chemicals (10.1 percent), machinery & vehicles (7.8 percent) and other manufactured goods (5.9 percent). Imports rose mostly from the US (13 percent), China (11 percent), Switzerland (10.5 percent), Russia (0.6 percent), Turkey (6.3 percent), Japan (7.4 percent), South Korea (5.3 percent), India (8.6 percent) and Canada (12.8 percent), but declined from Norway (-5.3 percent).