Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Exports hit record high in 2017, trade surplus reaches €45bn

Italy's foreign trade surplus decreased in December from a year ago, as imports grew faster than exports, figures from the statistical office Istat showed Thursday.

The trade surplus dropped to Euro 5.3 billion in December from Euro 5.7 billion in the corresponding month past year.

Imports also grew to record levels previous year, increasing by €2.7bn or 4pc to €76.8bn. The main increases in imports from the United Kingdom were of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials which grew by nearly a third to €2.7bn and of chemicals and related products which increased by just over a quarter to €2.3bn.

Today's figures also show that exports to Great Britain increased by 8% to €14.454 billion past year compared with 2016 - confounding fears of a sterling-induced fall.

Trade between the Republic and Great Britain also grew strongly with imports up 10% and exports up 8%.

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During the year exports to European Union countries increased by 4pc to €63bn - reaffirming the Blocs position as the biggest customer for Irish exports.

The EU accounted for €62.7 billion of Ireland's exports in 2017, while exports to the non-EU countries rose marginally.

Trade with the U.S. also grew previous year compared with 2016, with exports up 4 per ent to €33.2 billion.

Imports from European Union countries were 3 per cent higher, and non-EU countries saw a 4 per cent rise.

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