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Economy in Brief

Italy’s Trade Deficit Widens: Complex Picture Emerges
by Robert Brusca March 18, 2008

Italy’s export and import rise in January and continue to show good momentum despite forecasts of slowing in the Euro Area and a continually rising euro. While MFG readings have showed slowing the export picture remains surprisingly strong.

After declines in the year ago period Italy’s exports have come back to life with strong growth across the export categories. Capital goods exports remain especially strong. On the import side growth has also been quite strong. Year over year both export and imports up by just about 10%.

However the chart provides a different perspective. Despite all the solid growth rates the time series of Yr/Yr growth rates shows that apart from a sharp drop and recovery over the past year Italy’s export and import Year-over-year growth rates are still locked in a broad declining trend.

Italy's Trade Trends
  m/mo % monthly rate Period Specified saar
  Jan-08 Dec-07 Nov-07 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo Yr-Ago
Current Account Balance €€ (3,670) €€ (3,589) €€ (2,763) €€ (3,341) €€ (3,311) €€ (3,060) €€ (3,299)
Goods Balance €€ 288 €€ (1,255) €€ 455 €€ (171) €€ 174 €€ 171 €€ (762)
  Exports 16.2% -9.1% -3.3% 8.9% 8.7% 9.9% 13.3%
  Imports 10.3% -3.6% -2.7% 14.4% 3.3% 9.9% 9.0%
Services Balance €€ 247 €€ (40) €€ (415) €€ (69) €€ (392) €€ (476) €€ (180)
  Exports 3.6% 8.0% -2.6% 40.6% 27.5% 10.0% 2.4%
  Imports -0.3% 2.4% -2.9% -3.3% 5.4% -1.0% 18.3%
Not Seasonally Adjusted All Yr/Yr
Exports Jan-08   Jan-07   Jan-06   Jan-05
  Food & Beverages 18.3% -- -2.0% -- 10.9% -- 7.2%
  Capital Goods 14.2% -- 5.3% -- 14.4% -- 8.8% 
  Transport 12.1% -- -3.1% -- 24.0% -- 8.5%
  Consumer Goods 12.3% -- -2.7% -- 10.8% -- 8.6%
  Other Goods 7.2% -- 18.1% -- 9.2% -- 22.6%
Imports Jan-08   Jan-07   Jan-06   Jan-05
  Food & Beverages 6.4% -- -5.2% -- 14.7% -- 4.9%
  Capital Goods 10.6% -- 5.7% -- 7.2% -- 4.2%
  Transport 11.2% -- 11.2% -- 4.4% -- 3.8%
  Consumer Goods 8.1% -- -1.2% -- 18.8% -- 2.8%
  Other Goods 17.8% -- 3.0% -- 37.2% -- 17.2%
Balances in Mil of Euros
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