Exports declined 2 percent month-over-month to EUR 40.5 billion in May 2018, reversing a 2.9 percent increase in April. Sales dropped mostly for aerospace products (-19.1 percent);works of art, technical documentation, publishing products (-13.7 percent); automotive products (-4.8 percent), and computer products, electronic and optical (-3.3 percent). Other decreases were also seen in industrial and agricultural machinery (-1.2 percent); wood, paper, cardboard (-1.1 percent); agricultural products (-0.7 percent), and electrical and household equipment (-0.2 percent).
Among major trading partners, shipments fell mostly to Germany (-0.4 percent); Italy (-0.1 percent) and the US (-1.0 percent) while increased to Spain (0.9 percent) and Belgium (0.2 percent).
Imports edged down 0.1 percent to EUR 46.5 billion, following a 2.8 percent growth in the previous month, dragged by slower purchases of aerospace products (-6.9 percent), mainly from the UK. Other significant losses were also recorded in ships, trains, and motorcycles (-2.5 percent); pharmaceutical products (-2.3 percent); natural hydrocarbons (-2.1 percent), and perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning products (-1.2 percent).
Among major trading partners, purchases declined primarily from Germany (-3.4 percent) and Italy (-0.6 percent) while they advanced from China (4.5 percent); Belgium (7.9 percent) and Spain (1.9 percent).