The increase in imports offers an indication that Spanish consumers are regaining confidence, buoyed by the drop in the oil price which has seen prices fall and boosted consumer spending power.
The latest data show that Spain´s improvement in the export sector is primarily derived from an increase in sales to other EU countries. Exports to Germany rose by 5.7%, Italy 5.1% and Portugal 3.0%. Exports to the UK rose 4,3%, while trade with other EU countries grew by 3.6%.
The best performing export sectors in the economy were the automotive industry, which rose by 6.2% year-on-year and manufacturing which grew by 7.8%. Those sectors accounted for over 22% of the total increase in exports. Energy exports rose by 7.1%, boosted by an increase in demand for gas (56.8%).
In further positive news, it has emerged that Spain is now outpacing France and Italy in wine exports, leaving the country as the world´s largest exporter of wine by volume.