Total exports advanced 2.9 percent to EUR 20.73 billion from EUR 20.16 billion a year earlier, driven by energy products (2.3 percentage points); food, beverages and tobacco (1.3 p.p.); non-chemical semi-manufactures (0.7 p.p.); raw materials (0.6 p.p.) and consumer goods (0.5 p.p.).
Exports to the EU increased 4.9 percent year-on-year; of which those for the euro zone went up 6.6 percent and those to the rest of the European Union declined 1 percent. Among major trading partners, sales rose to Italy (10 percent), France (6.1 percent), Germany (1.6 percent) while decreased for the UK (-5.6 percent). Outside the EU, exports rose to the United States (5.6 percent) and Japan (5.4 percent) but fell to China (-6.4 percent).
Total imports increased 5.6 percent to EUR 23.2 billion compared to EUR 22 billion in December 2015, boosted by equipment goods (12.6 percent), energy (15.9 percent), non-energy (4.2 percent).
Considering full 2016, the trade deficit declined 22.4 percent to EUR 18.8 billion. Exports went up 1.7 percent to EUR 254.5 billion boosted by capital goods (2.5 percent), automobiles (5.9 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (6.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports dropped 0.4 percent to EUR 273.3 billion dragged down by chemicals (-2.8 percent).
Exports to the EU advanced 4.1 percent, of which those for the euro zone went up 4.4 percent and those to the rest of the European Union by 2.9 percent. Outside the EU, exports decreased 2.6 percent, namely to Latin America (-9.1 percent), Middle East (-4.8 percent), Africa (-0.4 percent) and Oceania (-17.3 percent). By contrast, sales increased to North America (0.3 percent) and Asia, excluding Middle East (3 percent), namely to Canada (8.4 percent), China (13.4 percent), Hong Kong (10.2 percent) and Morocco (13 percent).