EU: Trade Surplus for Third Consecutive Quarter

The European Union’s trade surplus increased from €31.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 to €51.2 billion in the first three months of 2024. This is Eurostat data, which adds that the trade balance has shown a surplus for three consecutive quarters, after a period of deficit (mainly due to energy), lasting from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2023.

Between January and March 2024, imports of EU goods from third countries decreased by 2.9% compared to the previous quarter, while exports increased by 0.3%.

In the first quarter of 2024, the surpluses, recorded in machinery and vehicles (€65.7 billion), chemical products (€57.6 billion), food and beverages (€15.7 billion), other manufactured goods (€4.8 billion), and miscellaneous products (€1.3 billion), exceeded the deficits in energy (–€87.7 billion) and raw materials (–€6.3 billion). The January-March 2024 period represents the second consecutive quarter of increase in exports, while imports have declined for 6 consecutive quarters.