Eurozone trade surplus surges

The eurozone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world has surged, largely due to a decline in imports.

A euro area trade surplus of €2.9 billion (£2.5 billion) was recorded for September 2011, compared with the €500m surplus reported in September 2010.

A trade deficit of €4.4 billion was recorded for August this year.

The surplus emerged as a consequence of a fall-off in imports, resulting from the ongoing economic crisis.

Imports fell by 3.2% in September while exports declined by 1%.

Ireland, Greece, Italy and Portugal all registered trade growth in the first half of 2011, of 4%, 40%, 14% and 16%, respectively.

These figures represent trade with both European Union (EU) member states and non-EU countries. When trade between EU member states is stripped out, Ireland’s growth falls to 1.2%, Italy’s to 4.1% and Portugal’s to 3.6%.

Greece’s trade figures drastically contract when only non-EU trade is considered, instead registering a deficit of 2.7%.

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