With exports of goods already surpassing the 2019 level, companies are optimistic about the progress for the rest of the year and are forecasting a 7.2% increase in 2021.
Exporting companies are optimistic. According to a survey by Statistics Portugal (INE), they are confident that they will increase exports of goods by 7.2% this year, revising the first estimate upwards. Sales abroad will also be driven by the European domestic market as well as by demand from outside the European Union.
“The perspectives of the exporting enterprises point to a nominal increase of 7.2% in their exports of goods in 2021, corresponding to an upward revision of 2.3 percentage points (p.p.) in the 1st forecast made in November 2020,” the statistics office reveals, explaining that “this revision results from the upward update of expectations for Intra-EU (+1.9 p.p., to 7.0%) and Extra-EU exports (+3.2 p.p., to 7.5%).”
The expectation is that during the whole year, the export of Portuguese goods will not fully recover from the pandemic. “If these perspectives are confirmed, exports of goods in 2021 will be 10.6% below the values registered in the International Trade in 2019,” INE points out.
These results are partially driven by the increase in exports of fuels and lubricants, given that excluding this component, the growth in exports of goods is lower (5.8%).
What reasons do companies give for being more optimistic? “The better performance than expected in most of their usual destination markets (44.9%) and in specific destination markets (14.9%),” INE said, signalling that businesspeople are confident about the future of the world economy.
Breaking down the goods by major economic categories, INE highlights the prospects of an 8.9% increase in exports of “Capital goods and parts and accessories thereof”, as the component with the biggest upward revision compared to the previous survey. This development is mainly due to “transactions with Intra-EU countries (+13.2%) given that those for Extra-EU countries are expected to decrease (-1.1%),” the statistics office noted.
Also noteworthy is the 7.2% increase in exports of “industrial supplies not elsewhere specified”, which is transversal to the single European market and to external demand. Exports of food products and beverages will continue to rise this year, after being the only ones to increase last year.