Trade surplus up production down in Eurozone

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy (first from right), embarked on a visit to Poland. During his stay, he visited a Polish company, specializing in the production of industrial electronic solutions in the sectors of gas, heating industry and water.

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy (first from right), embarked on a visit to Poland. During his stay, he visited a Polish company, specializing in the production of industrial electronic solutions in the sectors of gas, heating industry and water.

Eurostat graph.Click to enlarge

Eurostat graph.
Click to enlarge

Despite the apparent slow-down of the world economy and the drop of external demand for Eurozone products the first estimates by Eurostat, the EU statistical service, show a hefty trade surplus of €13.7 billion for the 17 countries single money zone in November 2012.

Not all news however was positive for Eurozone in November. Industrial production fell by 0.3% in both the euro area (EU17) and the EU27, according to estimates released by the same source. In October industrial production had also decreased by 1.0% and 0.8% respectively in Eurozone and the EU27. This last development though was highly expected. Practically all economic analysts were predicting a slow-down in the Eurozone economy during the last quarter of last year. Let’s see the details on both those macroeconomic developments.

Trade surplus

Always according to Eurostat, the first estimate for the euro area (EU17) trade balance in goods with the rest of the world in November 2012 gave a €13.7bn euro surplus, compared with a smaller but still important positive outcome of €4.9bn in November 2011. The October 2012 balance was in favour of Eurozone by €9.3bn, compared with a deficit of €0.7bn in October 2011. In November 2012 compared with October 2012 exports increased by 0.8% while imports fell by 1.5%.

As for the ten month period from January to October 2012 the EU27 deficit for energy increased to €347bn compared to a deficit of €319.5bn in the same period of 2011. On the contrary the surplus in trade of manufactured goods increased during the 1.1.2012 to 31.10.2012 period to €294.1bn, compared with an also positive balance of €196.8bn during the same time interval of 2011.
The most noticeable positive developments were recorded for exports to South Korea (+18%), Russia (+16%), Japan (+15%), the USA (+14%) and Brazil (+13%).

As usual the largest surplus in total trade was observed in Germany with €157.7bn in January-October 2012, followed by positive balances in the Netherlands with €41bn and Ireland with €35.6bn. The United Kingdom registered the largest deficit with €139.8bn followed by France with €69.1bn deficit.

Industrial production

Coming to the front of industrial production in Eurozone it fell by 0.3% in November 2012 compared with October of the same year. In October 2012 production also decreased by 1.0%. On a yearly basis industrial production losses were much more noticeable. In November 2012 compared with November 2011, industrial production dropped by 3.7% in the euro area and by 3.3% in the EU27.

 

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