Imports increased by 10.2 percent from a year earlier to a record high of EUR 93.7 billion in June, as purchases from the EU went up 10.1 percent to EUR 53.8 billion, of which Euro area countries (10.1 percent to EUR 35.0 billion) and other European countries (10.1 percent to EUR 18.8 billion). In addition, inbound shipments from countries outside the EU jumped by 10.3 percent to EUR 40.0 billion.
Exports rose at a slower 7.8 percent to EUR 115.5 billion, as sales to the EU grew by 5.9 percent to EUR 67.7 billion, of which Euro area countries (7.6 percent to EUR 43.0 billion) and other European countries (3.0 percent to EUR 24.7 billion). Exports to countries outside the EU increased by 10.5 percent to EUR 47.9 billion.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus decreased to EUR 19.3 billion in June from an upwardly revised EUR 20.4 billion in May and slightly below market expectations of EUR 20.3 billion. Exports were unchanged in June, following a 1.7 percent advance in May and beating forecasts of a 0.4 percent drop. Imports surged 1.2 percent, following a 0.7 percent growth in May and compared with market consensus of a 0.2 percent gain.
In the first half of the year, the trade surplus was EUR 121.5 billion, little-changed from EUR 121.3 billion in the same period of 2017.