Euro-Area Exports Increased in August Led by Germany, Italy

Euro-area exports increased in August, led by Germany and Italy, as the currency bloc’s economic recovery gained momentum.

Exports from the 17-nation euro zone rose a seasonally adjusted 1 percent from July, when they fell 1.5 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Shipments from Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, increased 1.1 percent. The euro-area trade surplus widened to 12.3 billion euros ($16.7 billion).

The European Central Bank forecasts that the euro-area economy will contract 0.4 percent this year and return to 1 percent growth in 2014. ECB President Mario Draghi on Oct. 2 reaffirmed his pledge to keep key interest rates “at present or lower levels for an extended period of time,” based in part on “the broad-based weakness in the economy.”

Shipments from Italy and Spain increased 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent in August, respectively, while French exports dipped 0.1 percent. Exports from the 28-nation European Union rose 0.3 percent in August after a 0.8 percent decline a month earlier, today’s report showed.

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