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Economy in Brief

Euro-Area Trade Surplus Moves Up Sharply
by Robert Brusca February 17, 2010

Exports rebounded strongly in December after coming up flat in November. Overall exports rose by 3.1% in December as MFG exports rose by 2.7% in December. Three month growth rates continue to show strong growth, accelerating slightly for overall exports but with MFG exports losing a bit of momentum compared to their six-month pace

Import growth is positive. Its three-and six-month rates of growth have steadied at or below the 10% growth rate mark. Manufacturing import growth is positive but barely growing at all, rising at 0.3% annualized rate of growth over three months, having slowed from nearly a 7% pace over six months.

Europe’s trade surplus is at a five year high. Exports are at their highest level in 12-months as well. Europe continues to act as a region with export-led growth. Exports are digging out from the recession faster than imports. Imports are lower by 8% Yr/yr compared to exports that are lower by just 2%.

Domestic demand is lagging in the Euro-Area. Exports are pulling the region into recovery faster than its own consumers. Europe’s recovery depends on the continuation of global growth as much as any region.

Euro-Area Trade trends for goods
  m/m% % Saar  
  Dec-09 Nov-09 3M 6M 12M 12M Ago
Balance* €  7,003 €  5,294 €  (3,252) €  4,482 €  (3,450) €  1,384
Exports
All Exp 3.1% 0.0% 25.6% 22.6% -2.3% -6.6%
Food and Drinks 4.8% 1.7% 18.3% 10.6% -1.9% 4.6%
Raw materials 7.7% -0.7% 51.4% 31.5% 24.6% -19.2%
Other 2.9% -0.2% 25.6% 23.4% -2.9% -7.1%
  MFG 2.7% -0.3% 17.7% 21.3% -5.2% -7.2%
IMPORTS
All IMP 1.7% 0.9% 7.2% 10.7% -7.8% -9.1%
Food and Drinks -1.3% 3.2% -14.0% -3.1% -8.7% 1.7%
Raw materials 4.4% 3.2% 41.2% 43.8% -19.0% -6.3%
Other 1.7% 0.6% 7.5% 10.5% -7.2% -9.9%
  MFG 1.5% -0.1% 0.3% 6.9% -9.2% -8.5%
*Eur mlns; mo or period average
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