Euro zone trade surplus grows, China imports decline

The euro zone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world grew in February, with a decline in imports from China as well as sharply lower energy needs because of mild winter weather.

The unadjusted goods trade surplus grew to 23.0 billion euros ($25.1 billion) in February, compared with 18.5 billion euros a year earlier. Exports rose by 1.6 percent , , while imports fell by 1.0%.

For China, which already had widespread coronavirus restrictions in place in February, exports from the European Union as a whole were slightly lower than in February 2019. However, imports were down by 8.1 percent , according to data on Eurostat’s website.

Energy imports as a whole also declined by 9.6 percent in February, when comparing Jan-Feb data issued on Monday and January data from a month ago. That translated into 10.1 percent lower imports from Russia and 5.9 percent , less from Norway.

The trade surplus with the United States, by contrast, grew by 21 percent in the month as exports increased and imports declined. The persistent surplus in goods has been a source of transatlantic tension.

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