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Euro Area Trade Surplus Rises Sharply On Exports

Euro Area Trade Surplus Rises Sharply On Exports

International trade in the Eurozone resulted in a larger-than-expected surplus in November as shipments recovered and imports declined, indicating that the region's economic slump is showing signs of improvement, latest data showed Tuesday.

The trade surplus, on an unadjusted basis, increased to EUR 13.7 billion in November from EUR 4.9 billion a year earlier, statistical office Eurostat said.

Economists were looking for a EUR 10 billion surplus. In October, the balance was a surplus of EUR 9.3 billion.

Compared to November 2011, there was an unadjusted 5 percent rise in overall shipments. Imports, meanwhile, remained unchanged from twelve months earlier.

Seasonally adjusted trade surplus was EUR 11 billion in November, which was larger than October's EUR 7.4 billion excess.

Exports from the currency bloc increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent month-on-month, recovering from the previous month's 1.2 percent decrease. The value of imports decreased 1.5 percent sequentially, after gaining 0.8 percent in October.

During the January to November period, the euro area trade balance registered a surplus of EUR 75.5 billion, in contrast to a EUR 23.7 billion deficit a year ago. Exports grew 8 percent annually, while imports rose 2 percent.

On an unadjusted basis, the trade balance in the European Union showed a deficit of EUR 1.7 billion in November, sharply lower than the EUR 9.3 billion shortfall seen a year earlier.

The seasonally adjusted deficit was EUR 3.6 billion, which was smaller than October's EUR 9.6 billion. Exports from EU states rose 1.1 percent sequentially, while imports decreased 3 percent, data showed.

According to the purchasing managers' surveys for December, the downturn in the euro area has eased, as the rate of contraction in economic output and new business slowed.

Official figures have showed that industrial production in the single-currency bloc declined for the third consecutive month in November, signaling a marked downturn during the final quarter of 2012.

Amid severe spending cuts and weak demand, the euro area economy slipped into recession in the third quarter of 2012.

The European Central Bank left the key interest rates unchanged at a record low at its latest rate-setting session as the bank shifts its focus to underpinning the fragile economy amid some feeble signs of stabilization. The ECB projected euro area GDP growth between -0.9 percent and 0.3 percent in 2013. The central bank expects a gradual recovery late this year.

by RTT Staff Writer

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