Rome

Italy posts highest trade surplus since 2003

11 bn euros, led by oil products, drugs, jewellery, food

Italy posts highest trade surplus since 2003

Rome, July 16 - Italy posted a trade surplus of 11 billion euros in 2012, the highest since 2003, the Italian Trading Agency (ITA) said Tuesday. Exports were 3.7% were up thanks to a cheaper euro and a slowdown in product-price rises while imports were 5.7% down, said ITA, formerly known as the Foreign Trade Institute (ICE). Also boosting the surplus were lower levels of domestic demand and industrial output, ITA said. The rise in exports was led by metallurgy, up 6.4%, food, up 6.7%, jewellery, up 10.9%, pharmaceuticals, up 12.5%, and petroleum derivatives, up 21.8%, it said. Some 87.3% of exports came from northern and central Italy and only 11.4% from the south. The number of exporting firms rose by about 1,000 to 207,920 between 2011 and 2012, most of them 'micro-businesses'.

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