Eurozone posts 9.8 billion euros trade deficit: ECB

20th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The eurozone's balance of payments worsened slightly to a deficit of 9.8 billion euros (12.9 billion dollars) in October, the European Central Bank said Monday.

The balance of payments, which includes payments for imports and exports of trade in goods and services, is a closely tracked indicator of a country's or area's ability to pay its way in the world.

It is crucial for the long-term confidence of investors and trading partners.

In September, the eurozone measure showed a deficit of 9.7 billion euros, according to revised data from the ECB, underscoring a lack of competitiveness by the 16-nation bloc as a whole.

The eurozone has posted almost a year's worth of deficits, interrupted only by a surplus of 1.6 billion euros in January.

The figures are often amended, however, and the September figure was initially reported as a deficit of 13.1 billion euros.

Within the eurozone, countries like Germany continue to post surpluses owing to healthy export levels, while others have structural external deficits.

A breakdown of the data showed that seasonally-adjusted exports of goods increased to 132.7 billion euros in October from 130.2 billion in September, while imports climbed to 134.6 billion euros from 128.1 billion.

On the financial account, the ECB reported unadjusted net inflow of four billion euros in October as more money was invested into eurozone assets than was placed abroad by eurozone companies and institutions.

On a 12-month cumulative basis, the eurozone's seasonally adjusted current account showed a provisional deficit of 49.3 billion euros, or around 0.5 percent of the eurozone's gross domestic product (GDP).

© 2010 AFP

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