World Economy

Eurozone Trade Surplus Narrows

Eurozone Trade Surplus NarrowsEurozone Trade Surplus Narrows

The eurozone’s trade surplus shrank in February as imports rose more rapidly than exports, an indication that rising domestic demand continued to drive the currency area’s modest recovery.

A slowdown in exports contributed to a weakening of economic growth in the eurozone during the second half of last year, and there were few signs of a turnaround in the first two months of 2016, Dow Jones reported.

The European Union’s statistics agency said that after adjusting for seasonal variations, the currency area’s exports of goods to the rest of the world rose by 0.7%, while imports of goods rose by 2.6%, resulting in a trade surplus of €20.2 billion ($22.8 billion), down from €22.8 billion in January.

Without seasonal adjustments, the trade surplus fell to €19 billion from €20.0 billion in February 2015.

The weakness of exports despite a depreciation of the euro since the European Central Bank launched the first in a series of stimulus measures in mid-2014 was one of the factors that prompted policy makers to launch a fresh package of initiatives designed to boost growth and inflation on March 10.

ECB economists cut their growth forecast for this year to 1.4% from 1.7% in December, which would mark a slowdown from the 1.6% expansion recorded last year. ECB President Mario Draghi said that largely reflected “a significant weakening of the global growth prospects.”