Exports increased 3.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 115.2 billion in July, boosted by a jump in sales to countries outside the EU (9.8 percent to EUR 51.0 billion). Conversely, sales to the EU dropped 0.5 percent to EUR 64.2 billion, of which the Euro area (-0.2 percent to EUR 41.3 billion) and non-Euro area countries (-1.1 percent to EUR 22.9 billion).
Imports dropped 0.9 percent to EUR 93.7 billion, as purchases from the EU decreased 1.6 percent to EUR 52.8 billion, of which the Euro area (-3.4 percent to EUR 34.9 billion) and non-Euro area countries (2.0 percent to EUR 18.0 billion). Also, arrivals from countries outside the EU edged down 0.1 percent to EUR 40.9 billion.
Considering the first seven months of the year, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 131.1 billion from EUR 138.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus widened to EUR 20.2 billion in July from a revised EUR 18.0 billion in June and above market consensus of EUR 17.5 billion. Exports went up 0.7 percent, easily beating expectations of a 0.5 percent drop; while imports declined 1.5 percent, worse than market consensus of a 0.3 percent fall.