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Economy in Brief

Italy’s Exports and Imports Slow, but Exports Still Exceed
by Robert Brusca July 18, 2007

Italy’s trade balance trend is slipping, too.

Imports outpaced exports in May. Exports fell faster than imports of the past three months. Over six and 12-months goods exports have grown faster than goods imports. For services imports are consistently far faster-growing.

The composition of trade flows shows that exports of transportation equipment (Y/Y) have slowed sharply in May. Capital goods exports have slowed sharply as well. Consumer goods exports also have slowed. On the import side, food and consumer goods imports slowed in May. Capital goods imports are holding up. Imports of other goods have slowed.

There is little in these trends to raise any concerns. At the same time there is some evidence of slowing. Europe currently has a truly strong exchange rate from the euro to the pound sterling. This sort of currency strength can be expected to take some toll on growth. Italy’s export flows include goods that are exported both within as well call as outside of the EMU community. So we do not get a clear reading from these data on the impact of the FX rate. But slowing export flows would result if the euro rose too high; at some point even Italian exports kept within the community would suffer as an export slowdown for EMU as a whole would also slow domestically generated growth too.

Italy's Trade Trends
  May-07 Apr-07 Mar-07 3-MO 6-Mo 12-Mo
Current Account Bal €€ (3,560) €€ (2,774) €€ (3,299) €€ (3,211) €€ (2,950) €€ (3,197)
Goods Balance €€ (139) €€ 589 €€ 215 €€ 222 €€ 336 €€ (316)
Exports 5.9% 0.5% -9.8% -15.4% 5.7% 6.7%
Imports 8.6% -0.9% -9.8% -11.0% 5.1% 5.5%
Services Balance €€ (429) €€ (1,107) €€ (222) €€ (586) €€ (426) €€ (405)
Exports -0.4% 3.3% -4.9% -8.1% 15.3% 10.7%
Imports -8.7% 15.9% 1.2% 31.5% 20.3% 11.4%
Not Seasonally Adjusted All Yr/Yr
Exports May-07 Apr-07 Mar-07 Feb-07 Jan-07 Dec-06
Food & Beverages 1.4% 5.8% 6.6% 3.3% 10.8% 5.4%
Capital Goods 4.3% 18.6% 15.8% 17.3% 15.4% 13.3%
Transport -1.7% 22.6% 25.8% 27.0% 3.9% 14.1%
Consumer Goods 3.5% 9.4% 7.6% 6.5% 7.6% 12.5%
Other Goods 21.2% 13.0% 4.7% 11.3% 34.5% 19.9%
Imports May-07 Apr-07 Mar-07 Feb-07 Jan-07 Dec-06
Food & Beverages -1.0% 8.7% 2.9% 5.2% 10.2% 7.3%
Capital Goods 6.3% 14.4% 6.1% 5.3% 13.8% 3.7%
Transport 8.4% 12.3% 6.5% 4.5% 13.2% 2.9%
Consumer Goods -0.7% 6.2% 2.8% 7.6% 6.7% 6.2%
Other Goods 1.1% 11.3% 5.2% 11.1% 11.1% 27.2%
Balances in Mil of Euros
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