The eurozone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world in March was the widest since the single currency was launched in 1999, as exports jumped.
The surge in exports to a record is another indication that the currency area is set to end the fourth year of its recovery on a high. But it may also reinforce concerns in the U.S. administration about the value of the euro on foreign exchange markets, and a trade deficit with the eurozone that appears to be growing.
In a separate release Tuesday, the European Union’s statistics agency confirmed that the combined gross domestic products of the currency area’s 19 members was 0.5% higher than in the final three months of 2016, and 1.7% higher than in the first quarter of that year.
Eurostat didn’t provide a breakdown of the sectors driving growth in the first three months of the year, but its trade figures suggest exports were a factor as the quarter drew to a close.
Exports of goods from the eurozone stood at EUR202.3 billion ($221.5 billion), a 13% rise from the same month in 2016. While imports climbed at a slightly faster pace, that didn’t stop the surplus from widening to EUR30.9 billion, the largest since records began in 1999.