Euro area external trade records a €2.8 billion surplus in February

The first estimate for the euro zone trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in February 2012 gave a €2.8 billion surplus, compared with a deficit of -€2.8 billion in February 2011, the statistical office Eurostat said on Monday. The January 2012 balance was -€7.9 billion, compared with -€16.1 billion in January 2011.

In February 2012 compared with January 2012, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 2.4% and imports by 3.5%.

The first estimate for the February 2012 extra-EU27 trade balance, though, was a -€9.4 billion deficit, compared with -€10.5 billion in February 2011. In January 20122 the balance was -€23.5 billion, compared with -€31.3 billion in January 2011. In February 2012 compared with January 2012, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.3% and imports by 3.2%.

EU27 exports to most of its major partners grew in January 2012 compared with January 2011, except for Norway (-4%) and Turkey (-1%). The most notable increases were recorded for exports to Russia (+25%), Brazil (+24%), Switzerland (+22%) and South Korea (+20%). As regards EU27 imports, the largest increases were recorded for imports from Russia and Norway (both +9%) and the largest falls for imports from Japan and Turkey (both -6%).

The EU27 trade surplus increased with the USA (+€5.9 billion in January 2012 compared with +4.1 bn in January 2011) and Switzerland (+3.0 bn compared with +1.1 bn). The EU27 trade deficit fell with China (-14.7 bn compared with -15.8 bn) and Japan (-1.1 bn compared with -2.1 bn), remained nearly stable with Russia (-9.6 bn compared with -9.7 bn), and increased with Norway (-5.2 bn compared with -4.4 bn).

Concerning the total trade of member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+€13.1 billion in January 2012), followed by the Netherlands (+€4.2 billion) and Ireland (+€3.2 billion). The United Kingdom (-€11.6 billion) registered the largest deficit, followed by France (-€7.8 billion), Italy (-€4.3 billion) and Spain (-€3.6 billion).

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