The Euro Area trade surplus widened to EUR 17.9 billion in February 2019 from EUR 16.5 billion in the same month of the previous year, easily beating market expectations of a EUR 12.3 billion surplus.
Exports of goods to the rest of the world increased 4.4 percent to EUR 183.3 billion in February from last year's EUR 175.6 billion, while imports rose at a slower 4 percent to EUR 165.4 billion from EUR 159.0 billion. Intra-euro area trade went up 3.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 160.3 billion in February. Considering January-February, the trade surplus was little-changed at EUR 19.8 billion, compared to EUR 19.6 billion in the same period a year ago, with exports advancing 3.4 percent to EUR 366.8 billion and imports increasing 3.6 percent to EUR 347.0 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union posted a trade deficit of EUR 2.7 billion in February, compared to a EUR 0.7 billion surplus a year ago, mainly due to a jump in imports (8.5 percent to EUR 159.0 billion) and a smaller increase in exports (6.2 percent to EUR 156.3 billion). Considering the first two months of the year, the trade deficit widened to EUR 28.4 billion from EUR 20.7 billion in the same period of 2018. The trade surplus with the US increased to EUR 21.6 billion from EUR 20.9 billion, while the trade deficit with China rose to EUR 37.8 billion from EUR 35.5 billion.
Exports advanced 4.1 percent year-on-year to EUR 309.8 billion in January-February, due to sales of chemicals (8.4 percent), food & drink (8.6 percent), machinery & vehicles (4.3 percent) and other manufactured goods (3.7 percent). Meanwhile, exports of raw materials were unchanged and those of energy plunged 10.3 percent. Among major trade partners, exports grew to the US (13.2 percent), China (13.0 percent), Switzerland (5.9 percent), Russia (1.6 percent), Japan (6.8 percent), Norway (11.1 percent) and Canada (8.1 percent), but dropped to Turkey (-26.9 percent), South Korea (-5.1 percent) and India (-7.0 percent).
Imports rose at a faster 6.2 percent to EUR 338.2 billion, boosted by purchases of chemicals (11.3 percent), food & drink (8.8 percent), raw materials (4.5 percent), other manufactured goods (6.1 percent) and machinery and vehicles (7.1 percent). Imports of energy, however, dropped 0.3 percent. Imports rose mainly from the US (18.0 percent), China (9.5 percent), Switzerland (11.9 percent), Russia (1.1 percent), Turkey (10.8 percent), Japan (8.7 percent), South Korea (10.3 percent), India (6.4 percent) and Canada (8.2 percent), but fell from Norway (-2.9 percent).
4/17/2019 10:50:34 AM