Euro Area Trade Deficit Widens


The first estimate for the euro area1 (EA15) trade balance with the rest of the world in August 2008 gave a 9.3 bn euro deficit, compared with +1.5 bn in August 2007.

The July 2008 balance was -2.0 bn, compared with +5.3 bn in July 2007. In August 2008 compared with July 2008, seasonally adjusted exports fell by 0.6% and imports by 1.0%.
The first estimate for the August 2008 extra-EU27 trade balance was a deficit of 27.2 bn euro, compared with -16.1 bn in August 2007. In July 20082, the balance was -21.5 bn, compared with -13.3 bn in July 2007. In August 2008 compared with July 2008, seasonally adjusted exports and imports both fell by 2.3%.

The EU27 energy deficit increased (-219.4 bn euro in January-July 2008 compared with -144.8 bn in January-July 2007), while the surplus for machinery and vehicles rose (+92.0 bn compared with +72.4 bn).
EU27 trade with most of its major partners grew, with the exception of exports to the USA (-4% in January-July 2008 compared with January-July 2007) and Japan (-3%), and imports from South Korea (-4%) and Japan (-3%). The largest increases were recorded for exports to Russia (+26%), Brazil (+23%) and China (+16%), and for imports from Russia and Norway (both +30%).

The EU27 trade surplus fell with the USA (+38.5 bn in January-July 2008 compared with +46.3 bn in January-July
2007), while it increased with Switzerland (+10.5 bn compared with +8.2 bn). The EU27 trade deficit grew with Russia (-44.8 bn compared with -32.9 bn) and Norway (-29.7 bn compared with -18.1 bn), and remained nearly stable with China (-86.6 bn compared with -86.0 bn) and Japan (-19.6 bn compared with -20.2 bn).

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+116.9 bn euro in January-July 2008), followed by the Netherlands (+25.5 bn) and Ireland (+14.9 bn). The United Kingdom (-72.7 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by Spain (-58.1 bn), France (-37.2 bn) and Greece (-21.4 bn).


TradingEconomics.com, Eurostat
10/17/2008 5:45:17 AM