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Economy in Brief

EMU Trade Balance Deficit For Goods Shrinks
by Robert Brusca  June 22, 2009

The EMU (16-country) consolidated balance of trade with countries outside the region fell to eru336mln in April from eur1.7bln in March. The Year-to-date deficit of eur2.5BLn is below the YTD average for the same period of a year ago that stood at eur 1.1bln.

Over the last year and the last six months exports and imports are declining at about the same speed in percentage terms. But over the last three months exports have stabilized dropping at just a 0.5% annual rate compared to imports whose decline is at a 17% annual rate. So the export decline has been out ahead of the import decline until this month when more stable exports allowed imports to catch up with the export Yr/Yr and six month trends.

The bar chart shows that the goods deficit has been on an improving trend for the last four months but before that the performance had been somewhat erratic. Year-over-Year export and import declines now are very much in step.

Ezone 16-Trade trends for goods
  m/m% % Saar
  Apr-09 Mar-09 3M 6M 12M 12M Ago
Balance* €€ (336) €€ (1,780) €€ (1,396) €€ (2,432) €€ 399 €€ (183)
Exports
All Exp -1.3% 1.5% -0.5% -36.6% -24.3% 12.4%
Food and Drinks -1.3% 2.9% 4.7% -21.3% -12.1% 18.2%
Raw materials 0.6% 10.6% 66.7% -31.8% -26.9% 19.7%
Other -1.4% 1.2% -2.1% -37.7% -25.1% 11.8%
  MFG -2.2% 3.1% 2.7% -35.7% -24.3% 10.3%
IMPORTS
All IMP -2.7% 0.6% -17.4% -38.1% -24.3% 12.7%
Food and Drinks -6.8% 6.5% 1.1% -11.2% -8.3% 14.8%
Raw materials -7.9% -0.8% -44.3% -63.2% -40.7% 8.5%
Other -2.1% 0.3% -17.2% -38.1% -24.4% 12.8%
  MFG -5.9% 2.7% -25.4% -34.7% -23.5% 6.7%
*Eur mlns; mo or period average
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