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The Eurozone is a single currency area which may be moving towards full political & economic union. Considered as a single trading bloc, more than two-thirds of its external trade with the world is with non-EU countries

  • The Eurozone’s biggest single customer worldwide, both for All Trade (Goods, Services, Income, Transfers) and for Trade in Goods only, is the UK.
  • The Eurozone’s biggest trade surplus (Goods, Services, Income, Transfers) anywhere in the world is with the UK.
  • The Eurozone’s surplus on its Trade in Goods with the UK is its second biggest worldwide, after its surplus with the USA.
  • The Eurozone’s surplus on its Trade in Services with the UK is its biggest worldwide.
  • On Trade in Income, the Eurozone is in substantial deficit with the USA & Japan, and in much smaller deficit with the UK.
  • The Eurozone is in considerable deficit on its Trade in Transfers with both the EU “Outs” & the Rest of the World.
  • The Eurozone’s trade (Goods, Services, Income, Transfers) with the whole world is almost exactly in balance: exports € 2931 bn, imports € 2934 bn.
  • Of the Eurozone’s total imports (Goods, Services, Income & Transfers) of € 2934 bn, 31% comes from the EU “Outs” countries, including the UK. Over two-thirds (69% or € 2033 bn) of the Eurozone’s total imports come from the Rest of the World.
  • The UK itself supplies only 13% of total (Goods, Services, Income, Transfers) Eurozone imports.
  • Of the Eurozone’s total imports of Goods of € 1769 bn, only 11% (€ 186 bn) come from the UK. The Rest of the World supplies 72% or € 1279 bn of the Eurozone’s Goods imports.
  • If the UK withdrew from the European Union there is no reason to suppose that the Eurozone would “penalise” or “discriminate against” imports from the UK. 69% of the Eurozone’s imports already come from countries outside the EU. If the UK were outside the EU, that proportion (other things being equal) would rise to 82%. As noted above, the Eurozone’s biggest trade surplus in the world is with the UK.

Data & Definitions

  • All data is from the European Central Bank, Monthly Bulletin, June 2012, www.ecb.int
  • Eurozone: the seventeen countries using the Euro in 2011: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Slovak Republic, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta.
  • “Outs”: the ten EU countries not in the Eurozone: the UK, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia.
  • RoW: Rest of the World: all countries outside the EU (approximately 170).
  • A plus sign, +, indicates a Eurozone surplus with a country/region.
  • A minus sign, ( ), indicates a Eurozone deficit with a country/region.

For full tables go to the pdf version.


Download Briefing Note: BN#79 Eurozone Trade 2011

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