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Falling imports improve euro zone trade surplus

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Euro zone imports dropped in January compared with last year, while exports remained flat, boosting the single currency area’s trade surplus, data from the European Union’s statistics office showed on last week.

Eurostat said unadjusted imports fell 6 percent in annual terms in January to 140.3 billion euros, while exports were almost unchanged at 148.2 billion euros, producing a surplus of 7.9 billion euros, well below market expectations of 15 billion.

The unadjusted balance was mainly due to a fall in the cost of energy imports which for the whole European Union of 28 countries plummeted 37 percent year-on-year in January to 26.4 billion euros.