ROME, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Italy's imports and exports improved in February compared to the previous month, the country's National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) reported on Friday.
In terms of value, sales abroad grew by 0.3 percent, mainly thanks to an increase in exports of non-durable consumer goods, and imports by 1.4 percent, driven by energy products and, again, by non-durable consumer goods.
The annual trend was negative for both flows, with a 4.4 percent drop in exports and a 1.6 percent drop in imports in February against the same month of 2020, the data showed.
"On the annual basis, the countries contributing most to the export decline are the United States (-21.1 percent), the OPEC countries (-20.2 percent), France (-5.8 percent) and Great Britain (-12.5 percent)," ISTAT said in its report.
"On the rise are sales towards China (54.1 percent), Poland (16.3 percent), the Netherlands (11.7 percent) and Germany (2 percent)."
China was the leading single market also in the period January-February, during which Italian exports there grew by 41 percent compared to the same months of 2020.
Still on an annual basis, imports from China rose by 14.6 percent in February and by 0.2 percent in January-February, the data also showed.
Excluding trade in energy products, Italy's overall trade balance posted 6.96 billion euros (8.34 billion U.S. dollars) in February compared to 8.44 billion euros in the same month of last year. (1 euro = 1.20 U.S. dollars)