Eurozone trade surplus doubles in June

BRUSSELS: The trade surplus for the 16 countries using the euro more than doubled in June, providing another positive sign for Europe's economy after France and Germany officially pulled out of recession.

The eurozone chalked up an external trade surplus of 4.6 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars) in June compared to a upwardly revised 2.1 billion euros in May, the EU's Eurostat data agency announced.

The eurozone surplus was the biggest seen for two years, before the global financial and economic crisis and resultant credit crunch took hold.

Eurozone trade figures returned to positive territory in March after almost a year at parity or in the red.

The 4.6 billion euro surplus compared very favourably with the figures in June 2008 when eurozone exports and imports were statistically equal.

For the 27-nation EU as a whole the recent status quo of a sizeable trade deficit continued, though the trend was sharply in the right direction.

The EU trade deficit stood at 4.3 billion euros in June, according to the preliminary estimate, compared with 7.2 billion euros in May and a massive 19.3 billion euros in June 2008.

The trade data comes hot on the heels of European second quarter growth figures published last week which showed Germany and France emerging from recession and the eurozone economy as a whole contracting by just 0.1 percent.