The Euro Area trade surplus narrowed to EUR 19.0 billion in November 2018 from EUR 23.4 billion in the same month of the previous year, still comfortably above market expectations of EUR 13.7 billion.
Exports of goods to the rest of the world rose 1.9 percent to EUR 203.0 billion in November from last year's EUR 199.2 billion, while imports jumped 4.7 percent to EUR 184.0 billion from EUR 175.7 billion. Intra-euro area trade increased 1.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 170.5 billion in November.
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Considering January to November, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 175.2 billion from EUR 210.4 billion in the same period of 2017, as exports grew 4.2 percent to EUR 2,098.4 billion and imports increased at a faster 6.6 percent to EUR 1,923.2 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union posted a EUR 3.2 billion trade deficit in November, compared to a 4.9 billion surplus a year ago. Imports rose 7.6 percent to EUR 175.9 billion from EUR 163.4 billion in November 2017, while exports went up at a much softer 2.6 percent to EUR 172.7 billion from EUR 168.4 billion.
In the first eleven months of the year, the EU recorded a EUR 25.2 billion trade deficit, compared to a EUR 9.0 billion surplus in the same period of 2017. Imports rose 6.7 percent to EUR 1,825.3 billion, boosted by purchases of energy (25.3 percent), raw materials (3.6 percent), machinery and vehicles (3.8 percent), chemicals (3.6 percent), other manufactured goods (3.7 percent), and food and drink (0.1 percent). Imports rose mainly from the US (3.3 percent), China (5.2 percent), Russia (16.9 percent), Turkey (9.3 percent) and Norway (15.1 percent), but declined from Switzerland (-1.8 percent). Exports went up at a softer 4.7 percent to EUR 1,800.0 billion, boosted by sales of energy (17 percent), chemicals (7.8 percent), other manufactured goods (3.9 percent), raw materials (3.1 percent), machinery and vehicles (2.1 percent), and food and drink (0.2 percent). Exports grew to the US (8.5 percent), China (7.3 percent), Switzerland (5.6 percent) and Norway (7.3 percent), but dropped to Russia (-0.8 percent) and Turkey (-6.7 percent).