Euro Area Trade Deficit Rises in May


The first estimate for the euro area trade balance with the rest of the world in May 2008 gave a 4.6 bn euro deficit, compared with +1.4 bn in May 2007. The April 2008 balance was +2.5 bn, compared with +2.0 bn in April 2007.

In May 2008 compared with April 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 3.4% and imports by 1.3%.

The first estimate for the May 2008 extra-EU27 trade balance was a deficit of 21.5 bn euro, compared with -14.7 bn in May 2007. In April 2008, the balance was -15.4 bn, compared with -12.9 bn in April 2007. In May 2008 compared with April 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 4.0% and imports by 1.3%.

The EU27 energy deficit increased (-118.7 bn euro in January-April 2008 compared with -81.0 bn in January-April 2007), while the surplus for machinery and vehicles rose (+48.3 bn compared with +33.9 bn).

EU27 trade with most of its major partners grew, with the exception of exports to the USA (-3% in January-April 2008 compared with January-April 2007) and Japan (-2%), and imports from Japan (-1%). The largest increases were recorded for exports to Russia (+28%), Brazil (+21%) and China (+20%), and for imports from Russia (+28%) and Norway (+24%).

The EU27 trade surplus fell with the USA (+21.5 bn in January-April 2008 compared with +24.8 bn in January-April 2007) and remained nearly stable with Switzerland (+5.0 bn compared with +4.7 bn). The EU27 trade deficit grew with Russia (-24.5 bn compared with -19.4 bn) and Norway (-15.9 bn compared with -11.6 bn), but decreased with China (-48.9 bn compared with -50.1 bn) and remained stable with Japan (-12.1 bn compared with -11.9 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+69.1 bn euro in January-April 2008), followed by the Netherlands (+15.2 bn). The United Kingdom (-44.6 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by Spain (-34.3 bn), France (-19.5 bn) and Greece (-11.9 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
8/13/2008 6:29:57 AM