Exports declined 5.1 percent year-on-year to € 16.34 billion while imports grew 0.5 percent to €19.11 billion. Exports to the European Union fell 3.8 percent yoy, with France posting the highest decline (-11.2 percent). Sales to Germany decreased 3.7 percent while those to Italy dropped 3.1 percent. In contrast, shipments to Portugal rose 4 percent and those to the UK increased 8.2 percent. Sales to non-EU countries, accounting for 37.4 percent of total exports decreased 7.1 percent, mainly due to a 28.8 percent drop in shipments to Latin America.
By goods, petroleum and petroleum products recorded the largest contribution to exports’ growth (+14.1 percent), followed by manufactured consumption goods (+8.2 percent).
The non-energy trade balance showed a surplus of € 541.3 million, narrowing from a € 1830 million surplus a year earlier while the energy deficit decreased 9.0 percent year-on-year to € 3313.3 million.
Considering the first eight months of 2014, exports rose 0.9 percent over a year earlier and imports grew 5.8 percent, bringing the trade gap to € 16.5 billions (€ -8.4 billion in the same period of 2013).