Italy shows strong exports in October, due to extra hours

Statistical agency says Italy's trade balance highest in decade

Italy shows strong exports in October, due to extra hours

Rome, December 17 - Extra hours of work by employees in the export sector helped to push up annual trade figures in October, Italy's statistical agency said Monday. That also contributed to Italy recording a trade surplus of 2.5 billion euros in October, and 6.5 billion euros in the first 10 months of the year. This marks the highest, 10-month balance of trade since 2002, Istat added. In October, export volumes were unchanged from the previous month, but increased by 12% over the same period last year. Istat explained the annualized gain as a result of an increase in number of days worked in the export sector. Imports also increased by 0.8% in October from the month before, and rose by 0.9% on an annual basis. Sales of Italian goods abroad were especially strong outside of Europe, no surprise given the economic problems in the region. Exports jumped by a whopping 30.3% year over year to members of OPEC, which represents a dozen oil-producing nations mostly in the Middle East. Sales to Japan jumped by 31.5% and to South East Asia by 30.3% in October. The strongest increase in Italian exports was seen in sales of refined petroleum products, up by 36.8%; sporting goods, games, musical and medical instruments, up by almost 16%;and food, beverages, and tobacco rose by almost 15%. Italian imports from OPEC countries rose sharply, by 19.4% and by almost 19% from Turkey. However, a sharp decline was recorded in imports from countries in the Mercosur - a South American trade bloc - which fell by 21.5%; and from Japan, down 17%.

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