Sweden sees first quarter trade surplus shrivel

Sweden's trade surplus for the first three months of 2010 was 25.3 percent lower than the same period last year, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden.

The surplus came to 17.4 billion kronor ($2.4 billion) for the first three months of the year, compared to 23.3 billion a year earlier.

“During the first quarter 2010, the value of exports increased by four percent while imports increased by seven percent in value compared to the corresponding period one year ago,” the agency said.

Exports for the first three months of the year amounted to 261.1 billion kronor, while imports stood at 243.7 billion, it added.

For the month of March, Sweden’s trade surplus came to 7.2 billion kronor, down from 7.8 billion a year earlier, with exports rising nine percent to 99.4 billion kronor and imports growing 10 percent to 92.2 billion, the statistics agency said.

Since the beginning of the year, Sweden has seen its trade deficit with the European Union widen. In March it posted a shortfall of 5.4 billion kronor, compared to 4.5 billion for the same month last year.

The country meanwhile saw its trade surplus with countries outside the union grow 2.4 percent year-on-year to 12.6 billion kronor last month.

Corrected for seasonality, Sweden’s March trade surplus stood at 5.9 billion kronor, up from 5.7 billion a month earlier, Statistics Sweden said.

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