IT: Merchandise Trade

Thu Dec 17 03:00:00 CST 2015

Actual Previous Revised
Level E3.4B E3.6B E3.5B

The seasonally adjusted trade balance was in a E3.4 billion surplus in October after a marginally smaller revised E3.5 billion excess in September.

The essentially unchanged headline print reflected a broad-based 0.4 percent month drop in exports, which would have been a sharper 0.8 percent but for a 12.7 percent spike in energy, and flat imports. On the year, growth of exports fell from 1.4 percent to minus 1.4 percent while imports were unchanged following a 0.6 percent increase last time.

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.