Eurozone exports climb five per cent in 2015 as sales to the US soar

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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A cargo ship loads up as US Trade Repres
Exports to the US rose by 19 per cent last year (Source: Getty)

The value of goods and services exported by the Eurozone climbed by five per cent last year compared with 2014.

The currency-bloc sold €167.5bn (£129.6bn) of goods to the rest of the world in December, taking the 2015 total to €2.04 trillion, according to data released this morning by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

Imports rose by two per cent over the year to €1.79 trillion. It means that the Eurozone’s large trade surplus grew even bigger last year to €246bn from €184bn in 2014. While sales to specific export markets are not available for the 19-member Eurozone, they are available for the 28-member EU.

EU sales to the US shot up 19 per cent last year while sales to China rose by just four per cent. Exports to Russia dropped by a whopping 28 per cent as the country maintained trade embargoes on EU goods.

The data also suggest that net trade may have contributed less to growth toward the end of the year.

“Weakened December traded goods data reinforce suspicion that net trade was of little help to Eurozone GDP growth in the fourth quarter,” said economist Howard Archer from analysts IHS.

“While Eurozone exporters have had appreciable help from a very competitive euro, the upside for exports has been constrained by muted global growth.”

The Eurozone economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the final three months last year, as it maintained a gradual recovery from a double-dip recession.

The EU's biggest trade partners last year

EU 28 exports to (€bn) Growth on 2014 (%) EU imports from (€bn) Growth on 2014 (%)
US 369.6 19 246.2 19
China 170.4 4 350.3 16
Switzerland 150.8 8 102.2 6
Russia 73.9 -28 135.9 -25
Turkey 79 6 61.6 13

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