Imports increased 3.2 percent from a year earlier to EUR 27.85 billion in November, boosted by purchases of capital goods (8.7 percent), such as office equipment and telecommunications (22.3 percent), electrical appliances (11.1 percent) and machinery for industry (4.6 percent). There were also increases in imports of chemicals (7.7 percent), non-chemical semi-manufactures (8.7 percent), energy products (2.8 percent) and manufactured goods (2.1 percent); while vehicles purchases dropped 3.5 percent and imports of food, beverages & tobacco edged down 0.3 percent.
Among major trading partners, imports increased from the Euro Area (0.7 percent), in particular from France (1.7 percent) and the Netherlands (4.5 percent), but fell from Germany (-0.3 percent), Italy (-2.6 percent) and Portugal (-4.9 percent). Imports also grew from China (14 percent) and the US (1.8 percent), but fell from the UK (-1.5 percent).
Exports fell 0.3 percent to EUR 25.28 billion in November, mainly due to lower sales of capital goods (-6.1 percent), in particular transport material (-28.7 percent). Exports also declined for vehicles (-5.2 percent), durable consumer goods (-5 percent), manufactured goods (-3.2 percent) and non-chemical semi-manufactures (-0.5 percent). By contrast, chemicals sales went up 10.7 percent and energy products exports rose 8.4 percent.
Among major trading partners, there were declines in exports to the Euro Area (-1.7 percent), namely to Germany (-2.9 percent) and the Netherlands (-16.9 percent), while exports to France were unchanged and sales growth was recorded to Portugal (5.1 percent) and Italy (0.5 percent). Sales also fell to the UK (-4.6 percent), but rose to the US (2.4 percent).
Considering January to November, the trade deficit widened to EUR 30.59 billion, also the largest for seven years, from EUR 24.24 billion in the same period of 2017 as imports advanced 6 percent to an all-time high of EUR 294.45 billion and exports increased 3.4 percent also to a record EUR 263.86 billion.