June 15, 2020 / 9:03 AM / 22 days ago

Euro zone trade surplus plunges year-on-year in April amid lockdowns

FILE PHOTO: European Union (EU) flags fly in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone’s trade surplus plunged year-on-year in April as pandemic lockdowns of economies around the world slashed trade volumes, data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat showed on Monday.

Eurostat said the external trade surplus of the 19 countries sharing the euro dropped to an unadjusted 2.9 billion euros in April from 15.5 billion a year earlier as exports plunged by 29.3% year-on-year and imports fell 24.8%.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the euro zone trade surplus was even smaller at 1.2 billion, a fraction of the 25.5 billion euros the month before.

Exports of Europe’s biggest exporter Germany plunged by almost a quarter month-on-month and by more than a third France and Italy.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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