Eurozone trade surplus widens to hit €15.6bn

City A.M. Reporter
EUROZONE unadjusted exports grew more than five times faster than imports year-on-year in July, boosting the single currency area’s trade surplus with the rest of the world, data showed yesterday.

The EU’s statistics office said the unadjusted trade surplus in the 17 countries using the euro was €15.6bn (£12.6bn) in July, up from €2.1bn in June, as exports surged 11 per cent in annual terms and imports only two per cent. The weakness of imports points to falling domestic demand as the Eurozone sinks deeper into the economic slowdown.

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the trade surplus was only €7.9bn, down from €9.3bn in June, as exports fell two per cent month-on-month and imports eased 1.2 per cent.

Detailed Eurostat data for July was not yet available but the breakdown for the January-June period showed export growth was mainly driven by sales of machinery, vehicles and other manufactured goods. This offset more expensive imports of energy, and smaller imports of raw materials also helped.

The main export engine is Germany, which is responsible for more than half of Eurozone exports. The second biggest contributor to the trade surplus is the Netherlands and the third biggest is Ireland.