The 19-nation euro region’s trade surplus with the rest of the world narrowed in October as exports declined more than imports, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, said on Friday.
The trade surplus was 20.1 billion euros ($21 billion) in October, shrinking from a surplus of 23.2 billion euros a year earlier. Exports fell 5% in October from a year earlier to 172.5 billion euros while imports fell 3% to 152.4 billion euros.
Separately, the Eurostat confirmed an acceleration in euro zone inflation last month. The annual inflation rate rose to 0.6% in November, the highest level since April 2014, from 0.5% in October.
The pickup is welcome news for the European Central Bank (ECB), which cut its deposit rate to negative and has been purchasing assets to stimulate growth and fuel inflation closer to its target of just below 2% to avoid a return to falling prices.