Exports rose 9.2 percent year-on-year to €37.44 billion, mainly due to sales to the United States (+ 44.0 percent) and OPEC countries (+ 18.2 percent) while those to the European Union countries rose a meager 1 percent. Strong growth was observed in sales of motor vehicles (+ 28.0 percent) and transport equipment, excluding motor vehicles (+ 23.8 percent).
Imports increased 9.7 percent to €33.38 billion, driven by a 5 percent increase in purchases from the European Union countries while those from non-EU countries shrank 1.4 percent.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, shipments rose 1.8 percent and imports went up 4.0 percent.
Considering the first three months of 2015, sales increased at a faster 3.2 percent while imports grew 2.2 percent.