The 28-member European Union, or EU, posted a trade surplus of 4.3 billion euros ($5.91 billion) in October in its trade with countries outside the bloc, up from a trade deficit of 0.7 billion euros in the same period a month ago and a deficit of 10.2 billion euros in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the 17-nation euro area recorded a trade surplus of 17.2 billion euros in October, sharply up from a downward revised surplus of 10.9 billion euros in the previous month, and the trade surplus nearly doubled on an annual basis, preliminary data released by Eurostat on Monday showed. In October 2012, the region recorded a trade surplus of 9.6 billion euros.
On a monthly basis, seasonally-adjusted euro zone exports rose by 0.2 percent and imports dropped by 1.2 percent in October, while in the EU, exports rose by 0.5 percent while imports fell by 0.8 percent.
In the EU, imports from most of its major partners fell in the January-September 2013 period compared with the same period in 2012, except for Turkey (+4 percent) and India (+1 percent). The most notable decreases were recorded for imports from Japan (-15 percent), Brazil (-14 percent), Switzerland (-12 percent) and Norway (-11 percent), while the largest increases were recorded in exports to Switzerland (+32 percent) and Turkey (+5 percent), and the most notable reduction in exports were to India (-5 percent), the USA and Japan (both -3 percent).
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Among the member countries in the EU, the largest surplus was observed in Germany (+148.3 billion euros), followed by the Netherlands (+40.5 billion euros), Ireland (+28.5 billion euros), Italy (+19.6 billion euros), Belgium (+11.6 billion euros) and the Czech Republic (+10.6 billion euros) in January-September 2013. France (-57.5 billion euros) registered the largest deficit in this period, followed by the United Kingdom (-55.1 billion euros), Greece (-14.5 billion euros) and Spain (-11.6 billion euros).