In the first seven months of the year, exports of goods went up 4 percent year-on-year to EUR 1319.3 billion, while imports rose 5.1 percent to EUR 1200.8 billion. As a result the Euro Area trade surplus narrowed to EUR 118.5 billion from EUR 125.3 billion. Intra-Euro Area trade rose to EUR 1143.3 billion, up by 6% percent compared with January-July 2017.
Considering the European Union, exports went up 9.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 170.4 billion and imports jumped 15.4 percent to EUR 170.4 billion, sharply narrowing the trade surplus to EUR 0.1 billion from EUR 7.8 billion in July 2017. Intra-EU28 trade rose to EUR 288 billion, up by 8.7 percent compared with July 2017.
In January to July 2018, the EU28 recorded a deficit of EUR 4.1 billion, compared with a surplus of EUR 6.3 billion in January-July 2017. Exports of goods rose 3.6 percent to EUR 1127.2 billion, boosted by sales of machinery and vehicles (2.1 percent), other manufactured goods (3.8 percent), chemicals (6.2 percent), energy (11.5 percent) and raw materials (2.7 percent) while shipments of food and drinks declined 0.4 percent. Sales rose to all main export partners, namely the US (5.3 percent), China (4.5 percent), Switzerland (0.3 percent) and Russia (1 percent). Imports went up 4.5 percent to EUR 1131.2 billion, mainly due to machinery and vehicles (2.2 percent), other manufactured goods (2.1 percent), energy (18 percent) and chemicals (1.8 percent). Purchases of food and drinks declined 1.4 percent. China was the biggest import partner, with purchases rising 2.2 percent; the US was the second highest import partner although imports fell 0.4 percent; Switzerland (-0.6 percent) and Russia (+11.9 percent).