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European deficit falls over quarter

The current account deficit of the 27 largest countries in the European Union (EU27) reached 58.6 billion (50.65 billion) in the first quarter of this year, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, estimates.

The deficit is still higher than it was in the same period last year, when it stood at 46.2 billion, but is lower than in the fourth quarter when it peaked at 68.3 billion.

In the first quarter of 2009, the EU27 external account recorded a surplus with Switzerland (up 8.2 billion), Canada (up 1.9 billion), Hong Kong (up 1.7 billion) and Brazil (up 0.3 billion). Deficits were highest with China (down 32.8 billion), Russia (down 6.4 billion), Japan (down 6 billion), America (down 2.1 billion) and India (down 0.9 billion).

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