Exports expanded to €21.03 billion from €20.62 billion in May 2014. The automotive sector was the main contributor to the growth, which increased 14.9 percent compared to a year earlier. Chemicals sector exports expanded 9.2 percent and food, beverages and tabacco sales grew by 5.3 percent. Also, exports of manufactured consumer goods rose 5.6 percent. Among European Union countries, sales addressed to Belgium were up 21.4 percent and exports to Italy, the UK and France grew 10.8 percent, 6.8 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
Imports increased to €22.68 billion from €22.38 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile , the non-energy balance showed a surplus of €686.9 million (€1617.9 million in May 2014) and the energy deficit fell by 30.5 percent, thanks not only to lower energy prices but also to smaller quantities imported.
So far this year, the value of exports grew 4.3 percent to €102.92 billion while imports increased at a slower 3 percent to €112.35 billion, thus improving the trade deficit by 9.3 percent when compared to the same period of 2014.