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Euro Zone Trade Deficit Flat in Jan Despite Increased Energy Import Spend

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) - The euro zone trade deficit was little changed in January from a year earlier, with sharply higher cost of energy imports outweighing a pick-up of manufactured goods exports, data showed on Monday.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said that the euro zone's balance for trade in goods with the rest of the world was 30.6 billion euros ($32.7 billion) in the red in January, compared with 30.2 billion euros in January 2022.

Eurostat also said that for the whole of 2022 the euro zone's trade deficit was 333.5 billion euros, compared with a surplus of 105.3 billion euros in 2021.

For the 27-member European Union as a whole, the data showed that energy imports were costing 18.7% more, although spending on imported raw materials declined.

The EU trade deficit with Russia - its main energy supplier until Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 - fell to 5.2 billion euros from 13.4 billion euros in January 2022.

However, its trade deficit with Norway, another energy supplier, widened. At the same time, both the trade deficit with China and the trade surplus with the United States narrowed.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the euro zone trade deficit declined for a fifth consecutive months to 11.3 billion euros from 13.4 billion euros in December 2022. It hit a peak of 46.1 billion euros in August.

($1 = 0.9367 euros)

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

Source: Reuters

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