The euro area trade surplus increased unexpectedly in December to the strongest level in eight months, data from Eurostat showed Wednesday.
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose to EUR 24.5 billion in December from EUR 22.2 billion in November. Meanwhile, economists had expected the surplus to fall to EUR 22.0 billion.
Moreover, this was the highest trade surplus since April 2016, when it was EUR 24.9 billion.
Exports climbed 2.8 percent month-over-month in December and imports went up by 1.7 percent.
On an unadjusted basis, the trade surplus totaled EUR 28.1 billion in December compared with EUR 24.4 billion in the same month of 2015. Both exports and imports grew by 6.0 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively in December from a year ago.
During the whole year 2016, total unadjusted trade surplus of the euro area was EUR 273.9 billion versus EUR 238.7 billion in 2015. Exports remained flat, while imports registered a decline of 2.0 percent.
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