Germany leads eurozone export surge

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A SURGE in German exports of cars and machinery helped the eurozone halve its trade deficit with the rest of the world in January, a sign that international demand offers the currency area its best chance a revival from its economic slump.!

Exports from the 17 countries sharing the euro jumped 11 per cent in January from the same month a year ago to bring the bloc's trade deficit to €7.6 billion, from a deficit of €16.1 billion in January 2011, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said yesterday.!

But imports only rose 4 per cent in January, highlighting the austere times for European households hurt by government budget cuts, rising unemployment and the impact of the sovereign debt crisis on businesses and bank credit. Adjusted for seasonal swings, the eurozone posted a trade surplus of €5.9 billion in January, the fifth consecutive month in positive territory.!

Showing the strength of the German economy that accounts for almost 40 per cent of the euro zone's exports, Germany had a €157 billion trade surplus over the full year 2011. No other eurozone nation matched anywhere near that number, with the Netherlands coming closest, with a €45 billion surplus.!

The eurozone's economy is expected to shrink around 0.3 percent this year, its second recession in just three years, but the slump masks wide divergences in the bloc's fortunes, with Germany likely to escape the slump despite a slowdown last year.!


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