International trade in April posted a deficit of €139.4 million, down from a deficit of €230.2 million in the corresponding month last year.
The National Statistics Office said both imports and exports registered decreases in value of €146.0 million and €55.1 million respectively. The drop in the value of imports was primarily due to machinery and transport equipment (€95.9 million). On the exports side, mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials (30.5 million) as well as machinery and transport equipment (€17.8 million) accounted to the main decline.
The trade deficit narrowed by €793.8 million in the first four months of the year when compared to a year earlier, reaching €725.4 million.
The value of imports was down €807.3 million, and exports decreased by €13.5 million in value. Lower imports were mainly in machinery and transport equipment (€707.5 million), chemicals (€34.0 million) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (€29.2 million). The main decreases in exports were registered in mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials (€37.7 million), and food (€26.8 million), partly outweighed by an increase of €40.0 million in machinery and transport equipment.
According to Eurostat figures, released locally by the NSO, seasonally adjusted GDP declined by 3.6 per cent in the euro area and by 3.2 per cent in the EU during the first quarter of 2020, compared with the previous quarter. The EU’s statistical office said these were sharpest declines observed since time series started in 1995.
Eurostat also reported that the number of people in employment was down by 0.2 per cent in the euro area and by 0.1 per cent in the EU in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the previous quarter. This is the first decline in the time series since the second quarter of 2013 for the euro area and the first quarter of 2013 for the EU.