The euro area trade surplus declined in March on higher imports, figures from Eurostat showed Thursday.
The trade surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 17.9 billion from EUR 20.6 billion in February. The surplus was also below the forecast of EUR 19.4 billion.
Exports grew only 0.9 percent in March, while imports logged a bigger growth of 2.5 percent.
On an unadjusted basis, the trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 22.5 billion compared to last year's EUR 26.9 billion surplus. Year-on-year, exports advanced 3.1 percent and imports grew 6 percent.