Exports help Spain narrow trade deficit by a third last year

Overseas put in their best performance on record

Spain managed to trim its trade deficit last year by a third as a dynamic performance by the export sector and weak domestic demand offset an increase in the country’s energy bill, the Economy Ministry said Tuesday.

The shortfall declined by 33.6 percent to 30.757 billion euros. Exports climbed 3.8 percent to 222.643 billion euros, while imports declined 2.8 percent to 253.401 billion euros as the country slipped back into recession. The department said the performance of the export sector was the best in the current statistical series, which dates back to 1971. The main drivers of overseas shipments were the capital goods, food chemical product and automobile sectors.

Spain’s reliance on imported fuel drove the energy bill up by 13.9 percent. Excluding energy, the country posted a trade deficit in every month of last year. The export-to-import coverage rate stood at a record 87.8 percent.

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