Euro-area exports advance


Euro-area exports rose for a second month in June, driven by a surge in shipments from Germany, as companies tapped into emerging markets to offset declining demand at home.

Exports from the 17-nation currency bloc advanced a seasonally adjusted 2.4 per cent from May, when they gained 0.4 per cent, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said today.

Imports stagnated in the period and the trade surplus widened to €10.5 billion from €6.8 billion.

Europe's economy contracted 0.2 per cent in the second quarter as tougher austerity measures pushed at least six member states including Italy and Spain into recession. With households and companies across the region cutting spending, exporters such as L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker, have relied on faster-growing Asian markets to bolster sales.

"The euro-region economy is undergoing a mild recession," said Alexander Krueger, chief economist at Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf.

"The global growth dynamic has eased somewhat, but exports will continue to support development to a certain extent in the second half of the year."

German exports jumped 6.6 per cent in June to €40.9 billion, while imports in Europe's largest economy rose 1.5 per cent.

Shipments from Italy increased 2 per cent in the period. France and Spain reported gains of 1 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.