IT: Merchandise Trade

Tue Jan 16 04:00:00 CST 2018

Actual Previous Revised
Level E4.5B E4.3B E4.2B

The seasonally adjusted trade balance was in a E4.5 billion surplus in November, up E0.3 billion from a marginally smaller revised October outturn and somewhat firmer than the recent trend.

The gentle widening in the headline surplus reflected a 2.1 percent monthly rise in exports to a near record high. This more than offset a 1.4 percent gain in imports. But for a 7.0 percent fall in energy, exports would have climbed 2.4 percent on the month, largely due to solid performances by capital goods (5.1 percent) and intermediates (1.7 percent). Consumer goods were up a modest 0.4 percent. Exports have expanded in three of the last four months and imports in four of the last five.

With the trade surplus currently running nearly 10 percent above its third quarter average, the likelihood is that total net exports will provide some boost to fourth quarter GDP growth.

The merchandise trade balance measures the difference between imports and exports of goods. The level of the international trade balance, as well as changes in exports and imports, indicate trends in foreign trade and can offer a guide to an economy's competitiveness.

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.