Exports grew more than imports for the first time this year

  • ECO News
  • 10 December 2019

In October, sales of goods abroad accelerated, increasing by 8.4%. They grew more than imports (+6.5%), countering a trend that has been observed throughout 2019.

Exports of goods registered a slight acceleration in October, having increased by 8.4% compared to the same period last year. Foreign sales grew more than imports, which rose 6.5% that month, countering a trend that has been seen throughout the year. Even so, 2019 maintains the imbalance in Portuguese trade.

The data were revealed this Tuesday by the National Statistics Institute (INE). It only includes information on trade in goods, leaving out the balance of services, which includes activities such as tourism, for example, providing a complete picture of Portugal’s trade relations with abroad.

October was even the first month of 2019 when exports of goods grew more than imports, a dominant trend in the Portuguese economy this year motivated by the recovery of investment, which has increased the need for purchases in international markets, as highlighted by the European Commission.

For the year as a whole, the Government expects total exports (including goods and services) to grow by 2.9% while total imports should increase by 5.4%. For now, between January and October, purchases of goods abroad are up 7.8%, while sales of goods advance 3.0%.

In relation to the month of October, the INE explains that the variation in exports and imports was mainly the result of the evolution registered in trade with European Union countries (+7.0% in exports and +6.6% in imports), highlighting the increases in exports and imports of transport material (+12.9% and +19.3%, respectively).

Although foreign sales grew more than purchases, the trade balance of goods worsened by seven million euros in year-on-year terms, reaching a negative balance of 1,647 million euros in October. Excluding fuels and lubricants, the trade balance deficit was 1,138 million euros, down six million euros.

In the year to date, Portugal recorded a deficit of 17 billion euros in the balance of goods, equal to 2018 values.