The heaviest economies of the euro zone’s periphery, Italy and Spain, have behaved in a more competitive manner than most sceptics about the laggards of the common currency union would have it. Companies from both Mediterranean countries have increased their presence in markets outside their natural environment, partly forced by a falling domestic demand but due to the strength of production structures and new-found adaptability, too.
Here on The Corner, CaixaBank researchers used past months’ data available from Italy to explain that Italian foreign sales show a healthy trend, even though counter-balancing the losses in sales to other euro markets will prove a tough task.
“Over the last three months up to April, exports to countries outside the European Union posted a rise of 2.6 percent compared with the three previous months, while imports only rose by 0.5 percent.”
And it isn’t a short-lived tendency. “Similarly, in April sales to non-EU countries were up 2.3% on the same month in 2011.”
Today, the latest figures coming from Spain put the country ahead of its euro partners. In May, Spanish exports rose by 6.2 percent year on year. According to Afi analysts, the key regions where Spanish sales have improved were Latin America and Africa,
“which account for 13.5 percent of the total foreign sales and whose annual growth rate is of two digits, while exports to other euro areas give no grounds to be optimistic.”
Expectations in the financial City of Madrid are that non-euro zone demand could add 3.5 percentage points to Spain’s GDP in the second quarter of this year. It would help soften the recession the country’s economy is going through.