Exports of goods to the rest of the world fell 1 percent to EUR 184.8 billion in September from last year's EUR 186.6 billion, while imports jumped 6.4 percent to EUR 171.7 billion from EUR 161.3 billion in September 2017. Intra-euro area trade increased 2.2 percent year-on-year to EUR 161.1 billion in September.
Considering the first three quarters of the year, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 143.1 billion from EUR 169.2 billion in the same period of 2017, as exports grew 3.6 percent to EUR 1,686.0 billion and imports increased at a faster 5.8 percent to EUR 1,542.9 billion.
Meanwhile, the European Union posted a EUR 1.8 billion trade deficit in September, compared to a 2.0 billion surplus a year ago. Exports went up 2.5 percent to EUR 160.2 billion from EUR 156.3 billion in September 2017, and imports rose 5.0 percent to EUR 162.0 billion from EUR 154.3 billion.
In January to September, the EU recorded a EUR 14.6 billion trade deficit, compared to a EUR 5.0 billion surplus in the same period of 2017. Imports rose 5.5 percent to EUR 1,461.5 billion, boosted by purchases of energy (24.0 percent), raw materials (3.2 percent), machinery and vehicles (2.8 percent), chemicals (2.4 percent) and other manufactured goods (2.3 percent). Meanwhile, imports of food and drink dropped 1.1 percent. Imports rose mainly from the US (1.3 percent), China (3.0 percent), Russia (15.1 percent), Turkey (8.1 percent) and Norway (13.5 percent), but declined from Switzerland (-3.8 percent). Exports went up at a softer 4.1 percent to EUR 1,446.9 billion, boosted by sales of energy (15.4 percent), chemicals (6.9 percent), other manufactured goods (3.5 percent), raw materials (2.7 percent) and machinery and vehicles (1.4 percent). By contrast, exports of food and drink fell 0.8 percent. Exports grew to the US (6.2 percent), China (5.9 percent), Switzerland (5.1 percent) and Norway (6.4 percent), but dropped to Russia (-0.8 percent) and Turkey (-1 percent).