Euro-Area Trade Surplus Swells To $10.5 Billion

Despite high value of European currency, exporters pulled in strong orders.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — The euro zone's trade surplus with the rest of the world swelled to 7.8 billion euros ($10.5 billion) in June, Eurostat said Tuesday, showing that major European exporters still pulled in strong orders despite the high value of the currency.
The figure is far above the trade surplus of 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) for May reported by the 13 nations that share the euro — among them Germany, the world's biggest exporter.
The euro has climbed against the dollar this year, peaking on July 24 when it bought $1.3852 — making vacations in Paris more expensive for shoppers in the United States, Europe's largest trading partner.
The EU statistical agency Eurostat did not break down the June figure to show where euro nations are pulling in more orders, but it did give details of trade in the five months from January to May this year.
Those show that euro-area exports to the U.S. fell 2 percent from the same five months a year ago. Euro nations generally send more to the U.S. than they buy in return.
But Europe has been gaining ground in other parts of the world as it sells more chemicals, machinery and vehicles and other manufactured goods. Exports to Russia grew 27 percent and the value of goods sold to China went up 14 percent.
The entire 27-nation European Union, however, bought more than it sold, with the EU's trade deficit coming in at 9.4 billion euros ($12.7 billion), shrinking from 15 billion euros ($20.2 billion) in May. These EU figures include the bloc's biggest net importer, Britain.
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