Exports to European Union countries rose 2.7% this year after falling 15.1% in the last four months of 2001, according to data published yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Export of goods in the first eight months of the year amounted to $12.3 billion as EU exports constituted 31%, US exports accounted for 30% and exports to Asia made up 14%. The data does not include trade with the Palestinian Authority.

Imports in January to August amounted to $17.3 billion. Forty% of the imports came from the EU, 24% from the US and 14% from Asia.

Trend data net of seasonal influences indicate a slower rate of increase for imports from the United States. Imports grew 2.9% in annual terms in the past five months, after a 12.4% increase from November 2001 to March 2002.