Euro zone returns to trade surplus in January

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Brussels, Belgium (4E) – Euro zone trade with global economies led to a surplus in January, improving from last year’s deficit, according to preliminary data by statistical office Eurostat released Tuesday.

On an adjusted basis, balance of foreign trade in January resulted to a surplus of 0.9bn euros, from a deficit of 5.4bn euros in the same period last year. Economists predicted a surplus of 13.9bn euros for January. The common currency bloc posted a surplus of 13.8bn euros in December 2013.

Exports of goods climbed 1 percent on year to 147.7bn euros in the beginning of the year. Imports fell 3 percent annually to 146.8bn euros.

Tuesday’s report showed that EU’s trade with non-EU countries in January led to a deficit of 13bn euros, down from the 17.7bn euros deficit registered a year ago. Exports to countries outside the EU fell 1 percent on an annualized basis, and imports fell 3 percent.

Among EU member states, Germany registered the biggest surplus, followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy. The UK posted the widest deficit, followed by France, Greece and Spain.

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