Exports increased in February, before the Pandemic hit Europe

  • ECO News
  • 9 April 2020

Exports of goods grew 0.9% in February, before the pandemic hit Europe hard. The Statistics Portugal (INE) warns that a significant change is expected in the coming months.

Exports of goods grew 0.9% in February this year, compared to the same month last year, while imports rose 3.4%. The numbers were released this Thursday by the Statistics Portugal (INE).

“While the information in this highlight may already reflect to some extent the current situation as determined by the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is expected that the trends analyzed here will change substantially in future releases,” explains the INE. Although they continue to grow compared to 2019, exports decelerated from the 4.2% growth recorded in January.

There were “increases in exports of Fuels and lubricants (+44.2%) and in imports of Transport equipment (+17.5%), mainly Other transport equipment (aircraft) stood out,” says the statistical office.

Taking the average of the last three months, which gives a smoother reading of the international trade trend, exports of goods increased 3.4% during that period while imports grew 0.7%.

The balance of trade in goods deteriorated again in February, increasing 170 million euros to around 1.54 billion euros. Services exports, which include tourism, are excluded from this data, which shows a positive trade balance.

In geographical terms, the increase in exports is mainly due to intra-EU trade. From this point of view, the highlight is the increase in exports of goods to Spain (+5.8%) and France (+8.2%) and the decrease to Angola (-33.1%).