Imports rose 1.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 32.04 billion in December of 2018, boosted by higher purchases of textiles and clothing (+2.3 percent); electronical equipment (+6 percent) and other manufacturing products (+4.4 percent). On the other hand, imports of machinery and equipment (-6 percent) and base metals and metal products (-4.3 percent) declined.
Increases were seen in purchases from China (18.2 percent); the US (32.9 percent); Russia (20.5 percent) and Belgium (1.9 percent); while imports dropped from Germany (-4.6 percent) and OPEC countries (-1.5 percent).
Exports fell 2.7 percent to EUR 35.7 billion in December of 2018, dragged down by lower sales of clothing and footwear (-0.3 percent); base metal and metal products (-1.5 percent); transport equipment (-9.5 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (-3.8 percent).
Shipments declined mostly to the US (-5.7 percent); Germany (-2.9 percent); OPEC countries (-8.4 percent) and China (-15.2 percent). Conversely, exports rose to France (5.1 percent); Switzerland (7.5 percent) and the UK (4.6 percent).
With the European Union countries, Italy recorded a trade deficit of EUR 0.613 billion in December, as exports decreased by 0.3 percent to EUR 18.45 billion and imports fell 2.7 percent to EUR 19.06 billion.
Considering 2018, Italy posted a trade surplus of 39.80 billion, as exports grew 3 percent to EUR 462.81 billion and imports advanced at a faster 5.4 percent to EUR 423.0 billion.