The euro area trade surplus increased in July despite a fall in exports, official data showed Monday.
The latest decline in exports after two straight months of increase suggest that it will act as a drag on the activity in the third quarter.
The trade surplus rose to EUR 15.6 billion from EUR 13.6 billion in June, Eurostat said. Economists had forecast a surplus of EUR 15 billion. In July 2011, the trade surplus totaled EUR 2.1 billion.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the surplus fell to EUR 7.9 billion from EUR 9.3 billion in June.
Exports dropped by a seasonally adjusted 2 percent month-on-month in July after rising 2.4 percent in June. Likewise, imports fell 1.2 percent, reversing last month's 0.7 percent rise.
The decline in exports reinforces belief that the Eurozone is headed for further GDP contraction in the third quarter given that growing exports was one of the few positives for the Eurozone economy in the first half of 2012, IHS Global Insight's Chief U.K. economist Howard Archer said.
The 17-nation economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter as a marked improvement in export growth was offset by a further fall in investment. The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development warned that the global economy has weakened with recession hitting key euro area economies such as Spain and Italy.
Annually, exports rose an unadjusted 11 percent, while imports gained only 2 percent.
The extra-EU27 trade in goods showed a surplus of EUR 3.1 billion, compared with a EUR 15.3 billion shortfall last month. Exports and imports fell by 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
The EU27 deficit for energy increased to EUR 208.6 billion during January to June compared with EUR 187.2 billion deficit in the same period of last year.
Concerning the total trade of member states, the largest surplus was observed in Germany during six months ended June, followed by the Netherlands and Ireland. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom registered the largest deficit.
by RTT Staff Writer
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