Imports of goods to the rest of the world jumped by 10.1 percent to EUR 168.9 billion from EUR 153.4 billion in October 2016, while exports advanced at a slower 8.8 percent to EUR 187.9 billion from EUR 172.6 billion. Intra-euro area trade rose to EUR 160.0 billion, up by 9.7 percent compared with October 2016.
In January to October 2017, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to EUR 187.9 billion from EUR 213.8 billion in the same period of 2016, as imports grew 10.4 percent to EUR 1,624.7 billion and exports increased 7.5 percent to EUR 1,812.6 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union posted a trade deficit of EUR 0.3 billion in October, compared with a EUR 2.4 billion surplus a year ago. Imports climbed 10.6 percent to EUR 159.6 billion from EUR 144.4 billion in October last year, and exports increased 8.6 percent to EUR 159.4 billion from EUR 146.8 billion.
In the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 5.2 billion from EUR 5.3 billion in the same period of 2016. Imports went up 9 percent to EUR 1,544.5 billion, boosted by purchases of energy (30.5 percent), raw materials (16.1 percent), machinery and vehicles (7.5 percent); other manufactured goods (6.1 percent); chemicals (5.4 percent); and food and drink (4.0 percent). Imports went up from the US (2.4 percent), China (8.9 percent) and Russia (25.1 percent), but fell from Switzerland (-10.8 percent). Exports rose 8.9 percent to EUR 1,549.7 billion, boosted by sales of energy (35 percent); raw materials (18.7 percent); other manufactured goods (7.8 percent); machinery and vehicles (7.4 percent); chemicals (7 percent); and food and drink (5.7 percent). Shipments went up to the US (3.8 percent), China (18.7 percent), Switzerland (10.4 percent), Russia (20.8 percent) and Turkey (8 percent).