By Business Staff Reporter
For the first time ever, Spain´s exported more to the European Union than it imported.
With the construction industry and the property market gripped by the recession, this is a step nearer the productive economic model advocated by experts.
Exports had gradually increased before the onset of the financial crisis but shot up last year. At the end of the first six months of 2010, Spain had its first-ever EU trade surplus and by the end of the second half there was also a surplus with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
Although this was partly due to reduced demand for imported goods, there was also an appreciable rise in exports. “There´s never been a scenario like this, with exports so lively and imports so sluggish,” said Sara Baliña of Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI).
Manufactured goods were responsible for 18.2 per cent of the total, followed by motor vehicles (16.9 per cent). Foodstuffs accounted for 14.4 per cent, followed by chemical products (14.2 per cent).
All were highly demanding fields but Spanish exporters were extremely competitive “even if the economy is not”, according to Baliña.
Exports for the first six months of 2011 were worth €106,363 million, an increase of 18.5 per cent on the same period in 2010. Total imports amounted to €130.430 million, with Spain´s worldwide deficit 8.3 per cent less than last year.
Energy imports were the principal culprits, according for 86 per cent – or €20.700 million – of the global deficit.
Baliña was cautious regarding the future, however and said that healthy exports depended on the economic growth of Spain´s principal customers.
“It will be difficult to maintain export growth in double figures if other economies stagnate,” Baliña warned.
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