The eurozone’s trade balance falls into deficit for the third straight month in January as rising energy prices led to a sharp increase in the value of imports.
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Eurostat stated that the non-adjusted trade deficit of the 19 countries sharing a single currency was 27.2 billion euros ($30.1 billion) compared with a 10.7 billion euro surplus a year ago.
Payments for imports rose by 44.3% year-on-year as revenues from exports expanded by only 18.9%.
Euro area trade has rarely reported a shortfall, but this was the third straight month of deficit and a significantly larger figure in the prior two months.
The eurozone last reported a negative trade balance in January 2014 and last struggled with deficits of over one month in 2011.
Germany’s trade surplus dropped by 78% from January 2021. France’s deficit worsened as Italy plunged to a deficit from a surplus. EU maintained a surplus with the United States, Britain and Switzerland.