According to data published today by, Eurostat, the official statistics office of the European Union for June, euro area goods exports to the rest of the world amounted to 189.9 billion euros, representing a fall of 4.7 percent year-on-year, while imports also fell by 4.1 percent from 176.6 billion to 169.3 billion euros.
In the first six months of the year, the eurozone saw its external trade balance surplus reach 102.2 billion euros, down from 103.6 billion euros in the same period last year.
The European Union as a whole, including non-eurozone members, registered a surplus of 6.1 billion euros in its international trade in goods in June, which also marks a decline from 7 billion euros year-on-year.
EU exports to the rest of the world fell by 4.4 percent to 164.5 billion from June 2018, when it reached 172.1 billion euros, while imports fell by 4.2 percent to 158.3 billion euros, compared to 165.2 billion euros a year earlier.
Between January and June, the EU increased its external trade deficit to 9.2 billion euros, from 2.2 billion euros in the same period of the previous year.
The figures come amid an ongoing trade war between the US and China that has been particularly painful for German exporters and has pushed the EU’s largest economy to the verge of recession, with Germany’s GDP falling by 0.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019. This was down from 0.4 percent growth in the first three months of the year. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth constitutes a technical recession.
The United States and China are the EU’s first and second biggest trading partners, followed by Switzerland, Russia, Turkey and Japan. A decline in auto sales, a linchpin of the German export-driven economy, have hit the countries car makers, while the increasing prospect of a no-deal Brexit has also stymied trade.