Seasonally adjusted results:
April: +E1.4 billion
MNI survey median: +E1.8 billion
MNI survey range: +E0.3 bln to +E3.0 bln
March: E0.0 bln (revised from +E0.6 bln)
February: +E2.4 bln (revised from +E3.4 bln)
January: +E0.9 bln (revised from +E1.9 bln)
December: +E3.0 bln (revised from +E2.7 bln)
November: +E3.6 bln (unrevised)
Non-seasonally adjusted results:
April: +E1.8 billion
March: +E4.5 bln (unrevised)
February: +E2.5 bln (revised from +E2.4 bln)
January: -E9.1 bln (revised from -E9.0 bln)
December: +E4.1 bln (revised from +E3.9 bln)
November: +E3.9 bln (unrevised)
FRANKFURT (MNI) – The Eurozone’s trade surplus widened in April as
the decline in imports outpaced that of exports, Eurostat reported on
However, the surplus did not grow as much as had been generally
Exports fell 2.4% m/m, while imports slipped 3.5%, leaving the
trade balance at +E1.4 billion. The median forecast in a survey of
analysts conducted by Market News International was +E1.8 billion.
With both exports and imports having posted notable jumps just one
month prior (exports +9.8%, imports +12.2%), April’s figures are more
likely a correction than a trend reversal.
Without adjusting for seasonal variations, the trade balance was in
surplus by E1.8 billion, down from March’s +E4.5 billion level.
As a result of both the weak euro and improving global conditions,
new export orders continued to gain strength in May with expansion at
near 10-year highs, offsetting sluggish domestic demand, Markit
Economics’ purchasing managers index (PMI) showed.
Firms polled by the European Commission also reported further
improvement in new export orders, while a growing majority of
manufacturers saw export volumes trending upwards in the near term.
While the euro’s recent depreciation has benefited exporters by
making their products more competitive in international markets, imports
appear relatively unaffected by the weak currency.
With the exception of a brief decline in February, Eurozone imports
of goods have steadily increased since July, the European Central Bank
reported. However, with imports often used as inputs for goods to be
exported, the increase may simply be due to growing foreign demand
rather than strengthening demand at home.
In Germany, foreign orders surged in April, boosted by a 5.5%
increase in demand from outside the Eurozone, the Economics Ministry
reported earlier this month. With the Ifo institute noting further
improvement in firms’ export expectations in May, export growth is
likely to remain strong in the near term.
French manufacturers also revised up their assessment of foreign
demand in May, INSEE noted. However, the most recent rebound was not
enough to completely undue April’s strong decline, leaving the indicator
still well below the series average.
While unchanged in May and still slightly below the long-run
average, Italian manufacturers’ confidence regarding foreign orders
remains at its highest level since October 2008, ISAE reported.
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