(Reuters) – Italy’s trade balance with the rest of the world swung to a surplus in February from a deficit a year earlier thanks mainly to the declining cost of energy imports, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Tuesday.
Italy posted a trade surplus with the rest of the world of 2.108 billion euros ($2.31 billion) in February, compared with a deficit of 1.475 billion euros in the same month of 2022, ISTAT said in a note.
“Compared to the previous year, the energy deficit narrowed, the surplus in non-energy trade increased, and the trade balance turned positive again,” it said.
Import prices saw a 1.7% monthly decline in February, and a 1.3% rise on the year, the smallest yearly increase in almost two years.
“Import prices fell again month-on-month – the fifth consecutive decline – and the yearly growth slowed down further, mainly due to declining prices for natural gas and electricity outside the euro zone,” ISTAT said.
The value of Italy’s exports rose 10.8% year-on-year, with a particularly strong performance outside the European Union, mainly thanks to pharmaceutical products.
Despite a trade surplus on the global level, Italy saw its trade deficit with EU-countries widen to 1.889 billion euros in February compared with a deficit of 313 million euros in February 2022.
($1 = 0.9114 euros)