BRUSSELS (AP) -- The trade deficit in the 16 countries that share the euro currency narrowed to euro2 billion ($2.6 billion) in February, according to first estimates released by the European Union's statistics agency Friday.
That is a much smaller deficit than in January, when it stood at euro10.9 billion, according to final figures compiled by Eurostat. In February last year, however, the single currency area enjoyed a euro1.7 trade surplus.
The EU said that the entire 27-nation bloc recorded a euro10.6 billion trade deficit in February and a euro27.2 billion trade deficit in January.
It said trade flows with all of the bloc's major trading partners fell in January. Exports to Turkey dropped 44 percent, Russia 36 percent and India 32 percent.
Friday's figures come after a string of bad statistics earlier this week, which showed European industrial output and car sales plunged further in February and March.