Exports from the 16-nation euro region rose a seasonally adjusted 4.1 percent from June, when they gained 0.9 percent, the European Union’s statistics office said. July imports contracted 0.3 percent and the trade surplus jumped to 6.8 billion euros ($10 billion), the largest since 2004, from 2.3 billion euros in June.
The euro-area economy may return to growth in the third quarter after governments and central banks around the world pumped billions into markets to encourage demand. PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, on Sept. 15 scaled back its loss forecast for 2009 citing a slightly better” market. European Central Bank council member Guy Quaden said this week that he is reasonably optimistic” on the outlook.
Exports to the U.K., the largest market for euro-area goods, declined 27 percent in the first six months of 2009 from a year earlier, while shipments to China fell 5 percent, today’s report showed. Sales to the U.S., the world’s biggest economy, dropped 21 percent. The detailed country data are published with a one-month lag.