Spain Ends 2016 With Record Exports, But Non-Energy External Balance Weaker

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The Spanish economy ended 2016 with a record level of exports, which for the year as a whole rose 1.7% to 254.3 billion euros year-on-year (in volume terms, the increase was 33.5%). Imports, on the other hand, fell 0.4% to 273.284 billion euros (volume grew 1.7%).

As a result of this, the trade deficit declined 22.4% to 18.754 billion euros in 2016. It is worth highlighting that this trade deficit is the second smallest since 1997, only exceeded by the figure registered in 2013.

The coverage rate rose to 93.1% from 91.2% in 2015. On the downside, it should be noted that the non-energy external balance deteriorated in 2016, recording a deficit of 2.516 billion euros, compared to a 1.912 billion surplus in 2015. So this casts some doubts over the sustainability of the improvement in the trade deficit against a backdrop of higher energy costs.