Eurozone posts June trade deficit

Aug. 19, 2008 at 2:59 PM
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PARIS, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The trade balance of the 15 Eurozone nations shifted from an $11 billion surplus in June 2007 to a deficit in 2008, the EU's statistical office said Tuesday.

The $0.147 billion deficit this June includes shrinking exports to the United States and Japan, but growing exports with Russia, up 26 percent; Brazil, up 21 percent; and China, up 17 percent, the EU Observer reported.

Imports from energy suppliers Russia and Norway grew compared to June 2007 by 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively, the Observer reported.

Eurostat has predicted the gross domestic product in the Eurozone has fallen for the first time since the euro was introduced, estimating a 0.2 percent drop in the second quarter of 2008, the report said.

Eurozone finance ministers meet Sept. 12 in Nice, France.

On Monday, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said coordination of economic policy was "indispensable."

"We have a common economic area, a common currency," Fillon said.

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