BRUSSELS, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- The euro area recorded a 20.6 billion euro (22.8 billion U.S. dollars) surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in June 2019, decreasing by 8 percent from 22.6 billion euro (25.1 billion dollars) of June 2018, said Eurostat, statistical body of the European Union (EU) on Friday.
The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in June 2019 was 189.9 billion euro (210.8 billion dollars), marking a decrease of 4.7 percent compared with June 2018. Imports from the rest of the world stood at 169.3 billion (187.9 billion dollars), a fall of 4.1 percent compared with June 2018.
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
The decrease is widely believed to be resulting from the protectionist trade policy of the current U.S. administration.
U.S.-initiated trade offensives against its major trade partners have weighed heavily on the export-oriented German economy as well as that of the EU as a whole.
Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1 percent from April to June of this year from the previous quarter, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) of Germany announced Wednesday.
Many leading economic research institutes and the German government have cut their forecasts for Germany's economic growth this year.
According to a report published by the Netherlands' National Dutch Bank, intensifying international protectionism poses a major threat to the global economy, as a wave of trade restricting measures are bound to drag down global growth and darken the global economic outlook.