IT: Merchandise Trade

Tue Jan 20 03:00:00 CST 2015

Actual Previous
Level E3.6B E3.9B

The seasonally adjusted merchandise trade balance was in a surplus of E3.6 billion in November following an unrevised E3.9 billion excess in October.

The fall in the black ink reflected a 1.1 percent monthly drop in exports, their first reversal since July, only partially offset by a 0.1 percent dip in imports, their second consecutive decline. Tumbling prices saw exports of energy slump some 21.5 percent on the month and without this category exports would have decreased only 0.3 percent. Elsewhere, overseas purchase of consumer goods rose 0.2 percent versus October but capital goods were only flat and intermediates were down 1.1 percent.

Despite November's setback the average trade surplus in October/November was still nearly 12 percent above its third quarter mean and the likelihood is that overall net exports provided a much needed boost to fourth quarter Italian real GDP growth.

Merchandise trade balance measures the difference between imports and exports of both tangible goods and services. The level of the international trade balance, as well as changes in exports and imports, indicate trends in foreign trade. The goods balance is the main market focus.

Changes in the level of imports and exports, along with the difference between the two (the trade balance) are a valuable gauge of economic trends here and abroad. While these trade figures can directly impact all financial markets, they primarily affect currency values in foreign exchange markets.

Separate reports are published for external and internal EU trade. The extra-EU trade data are compiled on the basis of customs declarations with non-EU countries. The intra-EU trade data (Intrastat) are derived from surveys and provide statistics on trade between Italy and other EU member states. The data are available monthly. World trade data are available within one month after the reference month while intra-EU trade data are available within 7 weeks after the reference month.