Compared to 2012, the overall results of 2013 show a sharp decline in imports (-5.5 percent) and a stationary trend for exports (-0.1 percent). The export trend is positive towards non-EU countries (+1.3 percent) and down to the EU countries (-1.2 percent). The volumes traded with foreign countries have been declining for both sales (-1.2 percent) and purchases (-3.7 percent).
In December of 2013, the trade balance amounted to € 3.6 billion, an expansion compared to December 2012 (€ 2.3 billion). Exports increased by an annual 4.9 percent to € 31.4 billion, mainly due sales for both EU (+7.9 percent) and non-European markets (+2.0 percent). Imports reached € 27.79 billion, slightly up from last year (+0.6 percent).
Compared to the previous month, shipments in December increased by +5.1 percent, reflecting a growth in sales for both European (+3.5 percent) and non-European markets (+7.1 percent). Imports increased 3.6 percent, boosted by purchases from non-European countries (+6.8 percent).