Exports increased 2.7 percent year-on-year to €20.4 billion in February, boosted by auto sales, food, beverages and tobacco and chemicals while shipments of other goods, raw materials and energy declined.
The European Union accounted for 67 percent of total exports: sales to the Euro Zone went up 4.7 percent and those to the rest of the EU increased 4.2 percent mainly Germany (+12 percent), Italy (+5.8 percent), the UK (+4.9 percent) while sales to France declined 0.9 percent. In contrast, shipments to countries outside the European union fell 1 percent, mainly due to lower sales to Australia (-71.8 percent).
Imports grew 1.2 percent year-on-year to €22.2 billion.
Considering the first two months of the year, exports increased 2.4 percent and imports went up 1 percent, bringing the trade gap to € 4.1 billion, 10.5 percent lower than in the previous year.