Bloomberg News

Euro-Region Trade Surplus Contracts More Than Estimated

April 16, 2012

The euro region’s trade surplus narrowed more than economists estimated in February as increased demand for imported goods outpaced exports.

The surplus shrank to a seasonally adjusted 3.7 billion euros ($4.8 billion) from a revised 5.3 billion euros in January, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a drop to 5 billion euros, the median of eight projections in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Imports increased 3.5 percent in the month, while exports were up 2.4 percent.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on April 4 that, while economic-growth indicators had “broadly stabilized at low levels” after a 0.3 percent contraction in the fourth quarter, the outlook “remains subject to downside risks.” The European Commission forecasts a 0.3 percent contraction in 2012.

The euro was little changed after the data were released, trading at $1.3014 at 11:10 a.m. in Brussels, down 0.5 percent.

In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, imports grew 3 percent in February, exports increased 1.4 percent and the trade surplus narrowed 3 percent to 10.5 billion euros, today’s report showed. France reported a surplus of 900 million euros, while Italy’s trade deficit shrank to 1.2 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Henry in Brussels at phenry8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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