In February, exports rose 2.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 104.7 billion. Sales to the EU grew by 3.5 percent to EUR 63.2 billion, of which Euro area countries (5.3 percent to EUR 40.1 billion) and other European countries (0.4 percent to EUR 23.1 billion). Also, sales to countries outside the EU grew by 0.9 percent to EUR 41.5 billion.
Imports increased at a faster 4.7 percent to EUR 86.3 billion. Purchases from the EU rose 4.4 percent to EUR 49.9 billion, of which Euro area countries (5 percent to EUR 32.5 billion) and other European countries (3.4 percent to EUR 17.3 billion). Also, purchases from countries outside the EU increased by 5 percent to EUR 36.4 billion.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus fell to EUR 19.2 billion from EUR 21.3 billion in the previous month and below market expectations of EUR 21.4 billion. Exports fell 3.2 percent, the steepest decline since August 2015, on the back of the recent strengthening of the euro and below market forecasts of 0.2 percent gain. Meanwhile, imports dropped 1.3 percent, also missing market consensus of a 0.3 percent rise.
In January to February, the non-adjusted trade surplus widened slightly to EUR 35.7 billion from EUR 34.4 billion in the same period of 2017.