In the first eight months of the year, exports of goods advanced 4.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 1501.1 billion, while imports went up 5.5 percent to EUR 1371.4 billion. As a result the Euro Area recorded a surplus of EUR 129.6 billion from EUR 140.4 billion. Intra-Euro area trade rose to EUR 1286.9 billion, up by 6.2 percent compared with the same period of 2017.
Considering the European Union, exports of goods increased by 9.2 percent to EUR 159.2 billion and imports jumped 10.3 percent to EUR 167.6 billion, widening the trade deficit to EUR 8.4 billion from EUR 6.1 billion in August 2017. Intra-EU28 trade rose to EUR 262.9 billion, up by 4.5 percent compared with the same month a year earlier.
In January to August 2018, EU28 exports of goods went up by 4.2 percent year-on-year to EUR 1286.6 billion and imports rose by 5.3 percent to EUR 1299.6 billion. As a result, the EU28 trade gap increased to EUR 13.0 billion from EUR 0.3 billion in 2017. Higher exports of goods were driven by sales of machinery and vehicles (2.3 percent), chemicals (6.5 percent), other manufactured goods (3.9 percent), energy (15.6 percent) and raw materials (3.0 percent), while sales of food and drinks fell 0.4 percent). Exports advanced to all main export partners, namely India (11.2 percent), Canada (9.1 percent), Norway (6.6 percent), the US (6.4 percent) and Japan (6.3 percent). Higher imports were boosted by purchases of energy (21.8 percent), machinery and vehicles (2.6 percent), other manufactured goods (2.2 percent), chemicals (2.0 percent) and raw materials (2.6 percent). In contrasts, purchases of food and dircks declined (-1.3 percent). China was the biggest import partner, with purchases increasing 3.1 percent; the US was the second highest import partner rising 0.4 percent; Russia (+14.4 percent) and Norway (+10.8 percent).