World Economy

EU Posts $5b Trade Deficit in 7 Months

EU Posts $5b Trade Deficit in 7 MonthsEU Posts $5b Trade Deficit in 7 Months

The European Union foreign trade balance posted a deficit of €4.1 billion ($4.96 billion) in the first seven months of 2018, according to the EU’s statistical office.

This January to July, the EU’s exports of goods totaled some €1.127 trillion ($1.363 trillion) with an annual hike of 3.6%, and the 28-member bloc’s imports from the rest of the world amounted to nearly €1.131 trillion ($1.368 trillion), up 4.5% on a yearly basis, World Bulletin reported.

“As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €4.1 billion, compared with a surplus of €6.3 billion in January-July 2017,” Eurostat said.

“Intra-EU28 trade rose to €2.05 trillion in January-July 2018, plus 5.6% compared with January-July 2017,” the statistical office added.

One euro was exchanged for $1.21 on average in the January-July period in 2018, while the average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.09 in the same period last year.

Eurostat data revealed that exports to the US—€232.2 billion ($280.9 billion)—accounted for 20.6% of the EU’s total exports in the seven-month period, making the US top export market for the bloc.

In the list of the EU’s major export markets, China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey followed the US. Over the same period, China became the number one import source for the EU with €217 billion ($262.6 billion) or 19.2% of total imports—by the US, Russia, Switzerland and Norway.

The country-to-country figures showed that the EU posted the largest trade surplus with the US—€79.3 billion ($95.9 billion)—and the highest trade deficit with China—€98.4 billion ($119 billion)—this January to July.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s economy could grow by as much as 9% this year after new figures showed exceptionally strong levels of expansion, outstripping all estimates for the first half of 2018.

Higher consumer spending and greater investment in the construction sector helped the economy to grow at a much faster pace than expected and put Ireland in pole position to be the best performing economy in the EU for the fourth consecutive year.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office showed a growth rate of 9% in the year to date. Many analysts revised their growth forecasts from about 5.5% to between 7% and 9%.

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