Trade balance, called also net export, is the difference between the value of country's exports and imports, over a period of time. A positive balance (trade surplus) means that exports exceed imports, a negative one means the opposite. Positive trade balance illustrates high competitiveness of country's economy. This strengthens investors' interest in the local currency, appreciating its exchange rate.
Extra-Euro Zone13 trade is trade with all countries outside the Euro Zone13, including the Member States not in Euro Zone13. Data prior to 1999 refer to Euro Zone12. External trade in goods are compiled by the European Commission (Eurostat) on a monthly basis following a harmonised methodology set out in European Regulations.