Italy Trade Gap Narrows Sharply As Exports Surge 15.3%

Italy's foreign trade deficit decreased notably at the start of the year, as exports grew more rapidly than imports, data from the statistical office Istat showed on Friday.

The trade deficit decreased to EUR 4.19 billion in January from EUR 6.52 billion in the corresponding month last year. In December, there was a surplus of EUR 1.4 billion.

Exports grew 15.3 percent year-over-year in January, following a 13.8 percent gain in the previous month.

Outgoing flows to EU countries increased by 11.3 percent, and those to non-EU countries advanced more sharply by 20.5 percent.

The annual growth in imports also accelerated to 8.4 percent from 7.3 percent in the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports rebounded 0.2 percent monthly in January. At the same time, imports continued its falling trend for the fifth straight month by 3.2 percent. As a result, the trade surplus increased to EUR 1.98 billion from EUR 179 million in December.

Data also showed that import prices decreased 3.5 percent monthly, while they grew 4.6 percent on an annual basis in January.

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