Imports jumped 17 percent year-on-year to EUR 26.91 billion in April from EUR 23 billion a year earlier, mainly due to higher purchases of capital goods (+13 percent); chemical products (+18.8 percent); energy (+19.1 percent), namely oil & related products (+35.9 percent); vehicles (+27.4 percent) and food, beverages & tobacco (+14.2 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports rose from Germany (5.8 percent); France (7.5 percent); China (+4.5 percent) and Italy (+6.7 percent). On the other hand, purchases declined from the United States (-6.5 percent).
Exports increased 9.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 23.86 billion in April from EUR 21.80 billion in the same month a year ago. The main contributors to the export growth were capital goods (+4.7 percent); food, beverages & tobacco (+5.4 percent); vehicles (+16.4 percent) and chemical products (+15 percent).
Shipments went up mainly from France (+5.7 percent); Germany (+9.7 percent); Italy (+7.5 percent) and Portugal (+5.8 percent).
Considering the first four months of the year, the trade deficit widened to EUR 9.98 billion, as imports picked up 4.9 percent to EUR 104.9 billion and exports advanced 3.7 percent to EUR 94.88 billion.