South pushes Eurozone into trade surplus

 
Ben Southwood
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THE EUROZONE swung into a trade surplus over the first eight months of the year, data revealed yesterday, driven by boosted exports from southern regions.

The Eurozone’s trade balance was €46.9bn (£38bn) in surplus between January and August 2012, Eurostat said, up from a €26.8bn deficit over the same period last year. Spain, Italy and Greece all saw exports rise and imports fall in the first seven months of the year, the data showed, even pushing Italy into a €4.4bn surplus in the period.

This positive data chimed with business survey results from Germany. Economic sentiment jumped from minus 18.2 in September to minus 11.5 in October, ZEW said. Though this was still negative, it was well above expectations – analysts polled by Reuters had forecast an improvement to minus 15.

But monthly car sales slumped at the fastest rate of decline for 12 months in September, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed.

New car registrations dived 10.8 per cent in just a month, hitting 1.1m during September, and clobbering big European car companies.