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EU trade surplus with US expands

Bloc's deficit with China widens; figures could further strain tensions

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The European Union's (EU) trade surplus in goods with the United States increased in the first four months of 2019 while its deficit with China widened, figures that could further strain global tensions.

Brussels

THE European Union's (EU) trade surplus in goods with the United States increased in the first four months of 2019 while its deficit with China widened, figures that could further strain global tensions.

The EU's surplus with the US grew to 48.2 billion euros (S$73.9 billion) in the January to April period this year, from 46 billion euros in the same period of 2018, EU statistics office Eurostat reported on Tuesday.

With China, the EU's trade deficit expanded to 62 billion euros, from 57.2 billion euros.

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The US has hit the EU with tariffs and threatened more over the trade balance. Both Washington and Brussels have also complained that China wants free trade without playing fair.

Overall, the goods trade deficit of the 28-nation bloc increased to 21.7 billion euros in Jan-Apr 2019 from 10.3 billion euros a year earlier.

For the 19-country eurozone, exports grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in April and imports by 6.6 per cent, leading to a narrowing of its trade surplus to 15.7 billion euros in April from 17.1 billion euros a year earlier.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the eurozone's trade surplus also declined to 15.3 billion euros in April from 18.6 billion euros in March as exports fell by 2.5 per cent month-on-month and imports declined by 0.9 per cent. REUTERS