Exports of goods to the rest of the world increased by 6.8 percent to EUR 171.5 billion from EUR 160.6 billion in August 2016, while imports advanced at a faster 8.6 percent to EUR 155.4 billion from EUR 143.1 billion. Intra-euro area trade rose to EUR 132.9 billion, up by 7.6 percent compared with August 2016.
In January to August 2017, the trade surplus decreased to EUR 145.3 billion from EUR 172.2 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports grew 7.6 percent to EUR 1,437.6 billion and imports jumped 11.1 percent to EUR 1,292.4 billion.
Considering the European Union, the trade deficit fell to EUR 5.1 billion from EUR 8.2 billion a year ago. Exports rose 6.4 percent over a year earlier to EUR 145.5 billion and imports increased 3.9 percent to EUR 150.5 billion.
In the first eight months of 2017, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 5.5 billion from EUR 5.9 billion in the same period of 2016. Exports rose 9.3 percent to EUR 1,233.3 billion, boosted by sales of machinery and vehicles (7.4 percent); other manufactured goods (7.7 percent); chemicals (7.8 percent); food and drink (6 percent); energy (38.6 percent) and raw materials (19 percent). Shipments went up to the US (4 percent), China (19.2 percent), Switzerland (13.1 percent), Russia (22.3 percent) and Turkey (5.9 percent). Imports went up 9.4 percent to EUR 1,227.8 billion, boosted by purchases of machinery and vehicles (7.7 percent); other manufactured goods (6.6 percent); energy (34.6 percent); chemicals (5.5 percent); raw materials (17.3 percent) and food and drink (4.5 percent). Imports went up from the US (3.4 percent), China (7.1 percent), Russia (28.1 percent) and Turkey (5.2 percent).