|Exports boost Italy's trade surplus
Italy's trade surplus rose to 2.6 billion euros in February thanks to a sharp increase in exports within Europe, particularly of cars, official data showed on Wednesday.
Italy, with the third-biggest economy in the eurozone after Germany and France, is struggling to introduce reforms to strengthen its economy and competitiveness and to underpin its exporting industries, AFP reports.
Exports were up 3.0 percent in value on a 12-month comparison, with a 5.3-percent increase for exports in the European Union.
Export volumes also rose by 3.7 percent, the Istat agency said.
Imports meanwhile contracted by 2.2 percent on a 12-month comparison because of the crisis and a fall in consumer spending.
The biggest rise in exports was to Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and there were also major rises in sales to Belgium, Britain, China, Germany and the United States.
The biggest rise in exports was for the carmakers, which saw a 13.9 percent increase from February 2013, Istat said.