Friday 17 July 2009

DATA SNAP: Euro-Zone Trade Surplus Shrinks In May

DATA SNAP: Euro-Zone Trade Surplus Shrinks In May

By Nicholas Winning


LONDON (Dow Jones)--The 16 countries that use the euro posted a smaller-than-expected trade surplus in May as exports fell more than imports from April, data released by the European Union's Eurostat statistics agency showed Friday.

Non-seasonally adjusted figures showed the euro zone's surplus narrowed to EUR1.9 billion in May from EUR2.7 billion in April. Economists were expecting a EUR2.7 billion surplus, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey last week.

The figures showed euro-zone exports totaled EUR97.7 billion in May, down 24% on the year, while imports totaled EUR95.8 billion, a 27% drop compared with May 2008. In April, euro-zone exports totaled EUR102.7 billion, while imports totaled EUR99.9 billion, Eurostat said.

The data indicate that trade remains substantially weaker than last year after the credit crisis plunged the euro zone and many of its main trading partners into the deepest recession since World War II.

Trade among the 16 euro-zone member states shrank to EUR101.3 billion in May from EUR103.6 billion in April, leaving it 23% weaker on the year.

The euro zone's trade deficit for the first five months of the year shrank to EUR6.5 billion from EUR13.4 billion during the same period in 2008, but the data showed exports and imports for the January-May period were both 23% weaker on the year.

Eurostat Web site:

-By Nicholas Winning, Dow Jones Newswires, +44 207 842 9498;

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 17, 2009 05:00 ET (09:00 GMT)

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