Year-on-year, exports rose 9.0 percent to €35.42 billion, as capital goods shipments expanded 12.5 percent and sales of consumer goods increased 9.9 percent. Also, intermediate goods grew 6.5 percent. In contrast, exports of energy products fell 7.1 percent. The growth of exports is very strong towards the US (+36.3 percent), China (+17.9 percent), the UK (+14.8 percent), the Netherlands (+13.4 percent) and South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand (+12.4 percent). Sales to Russia and Japan declined 29.5 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.
Imports increased 9.3 percent to €31.68 billion, boosted by a 21.2 percent increase in purchases of capital goods and a 11.9 percent surged in intermediate goods. Imports of consumer goods also expanded 7.3 percent. While energy products purchases fell 8.6 percent. The increase in imports mainly reflects the strong growth in purchases from South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand (+50.8 percent), Belgium (+39.6 percent), the US (+29.6 percent), Czech Republic (+22.9 percent) and Poland (+22.8 percent). Meanwhile purchases from Russia (-10 percent) and OPEC countries (-7.2 percent) fell the most.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, exports fell 0.8 percent and imports were stable.
Considering the first four months of 2015, sales increased at a faster 4.6 percent while purchases grew 4.0 percent.