Eurozone trade balance in March logged a deficit versus a surplus a year ago, as imports grew much faster than exports driven by further increase in energy imports, data released by Eurostat showed on Monday.
The trade balance showed a deficit of EUR 16.4 billion in March versus a surplus of EUR 22.5 billion in the corresponding month last year.
On a yearly basis, exports rose 14.0 percent in March and imports grew sharply by 35.4 percent, driven by increased demand for energy.
On a month-on-month basis, exports rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent and imports gained 3.5 percent in March.
The seasonally adjusted trade deficit widened to EUR 17.6 billion in March from EUR 11.3 billion in February. With this, the trade balance marked its lowest level since the start of the series in 1999.
The EU trade deficit widened to a seasonally adjusted EUR 28.5 billion in March from EUR 20.5 billion in the prior month.
During the first quarter of this year, euro area exports and imports surged by 16.6 percent and 39.7 percent, respectively as compared to same period last year.
As a result, trade balance turned to a deficit of EUR 52.4 billion from a surplus of EUR 56.7 billion in the same period last year.