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Economy in Brief

Italy's Trade Flows Dive In December
by Robert Brusca February 19, 2009

Italy’s exports fell in December but imports plunged helping to boost the trade account and to shift the balance of trade on goods into surplus in December. Italy’s current account deficit is still on a deteriorating trend, even with the improvement in December. And despite the December performance of exports, both exports and imports are on similarly plunging trends over 3-mos 6-mos and 12 mos. Imports are falling faster over most horizons except the most recent ones. Now the three-month export growth rate is just as bad as the rate of imports. Italy’s services exports flows are doing much worse than imports. Recession generally reigns in imports as we are seeing here. Italy’s weak exports are a function of recessions in its trade partners.

Italy's Trade Trends
  m/mo % monthly rate Period Specified saar
  Dec-08 Nov-08 Oct-08 3-MO 6-Mo 12-Mo Yr-Ago
Current Account Bal €€ (4,121) €€ (4,787) €€ (3,854) €€ (4,254) €€ (4,107) €€ (4,092) €€ (3,114)
  Goods Balance €€ 132 €€ (676) €€ 716 €€ 57 €€ (341) €€ 61 €€ 251
    Exports -0.7% -10.6% 0.7% -36.1% -6.6% 1.6% -4.4%
    Imports -3.4% -6.4% -1.7% -37.5% -11.5% -2.5% -0.1%
  Services Balance €€ (1,074) €€ (849) €€ (1,747) €€ (1,223) €€ (846) €€ (636) €€ (583)
    Exports -0.2% -12.3% 1.7% -37.2% -0.3% -7.7% 15.2%
    Imports 2.8% -19.4% 15.5% -16.4% 18.7% 4.5% 8.5%
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