BUSINESS

Euro periphery exports boost bloc’s surplus

The eurozone trade surplus widened in November because imports fell more sharply than exports, although shipments from the southern periphery rose in a sign that the bloc’s worst-hit economies are regaining competitiveness.

Exports from Spain, Portugal and Greece were up by 4 percent in the January to November period, compared to a year earlier, data from the European Union’s statistics office showed on Wednesday, and cumulative trade deficits shrank in all three year-on-year.

That adds to signs that those countries which have struggled over the past few years to contain high debt levels via harsh austerity measures and to pull their economies out of recession are starting to improve.

“It is encouraging that Spain, Portugal and Greece achieved export growth, which suggests that they are benefiting from improved competitiveness due to the reduced labor costs,” Archer said.

[Reuters]

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