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Eurozone trade surplus up despite growth doubts

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(BRUSSELS) - The eurozone trade surplus increased in July compared with June, official data showed Tuesday, providing another sign of a tentative recovery from a record recession.

The 17-nation eurozone posted a surplus of 18.2 billion euros in July, up from 16.5 billion euros in June, the Eurostat data agency said.

Across the full 28-member European Union, the trade surplus rose to 10.4 billion euros in July from 9.0 billion euros in June.

The eurozone trade surplus, driven largely by German exports, is one of the currency bloc's strong points as it struggles to emerge from the debt crisis.

Howard Archer, chief European economist for IHS Global Insight, warned however that exports are dependent on a global economy that has shown recent signs of uncertainty.

"Eurozone exports disappointingly fell by 1.6 percent month-on-month in July, which was the third decline in four months despite a gain of 1.3 percent in May," he said.

"This suggests that muted global growth is limiting eurozone exports." Archer said.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has sought to temper hopes in recent weeks that the eurozone was about to rebound strongly, insisting that the nascent recovery remains extremely fragile.

The outlook for world growth, especially in emerging markets, has been dimmed by uncertainty over the effects of expected tighter monetary policy in the United States.

Euro area international trade in goods surplus 18.2 bn euro [Eurostat]


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