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Euro zone plunges into trade deficit in May

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The euro zone plunged into a trade deficit in May, suggesting a strong euro was taking its toll on exports, the European Union (EU)'s statistics bureau Eurostat estimated on Friday.

In May, the 15-nation bloc sharing the same currency euro posted a trade deficit of €4.6 billion ($7.3 billion), compared with a surplus of €2.5 billion in April and a surplus of €1.4 billion in May 2007.

Analysts said the deficit, the third time in the first five months of this year, may signal the euro's strength was weighing on exports and boosting imports.

Figures showed in May eurozone exports grew by four percent over one year to €128.4 billion, while imports rose nine percent to €133.0 billion.

For the 27-nation EU, external trade balance showed a deficit of €21.5 billion in May, up from a deficit of €15.4 billion in April and a deficit of €14.7 billion in May 2007. (Xinhua)

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