In January 2021, exports and imports of goods recorded nominal year-on-year growth rates of -9.8% and -17.2%, respectively (-7.4% and -6.5% in December 2020, in the same order). These growth rates were heavily influenced by the sharp declines of exports and imports of Fuels and lubricants (-39.3% and -46.1%, respectively) and Transport equipment (-10.9% and -26.4%, in the same order).
Excluding Fuels and lubricants, exports decreased by 7.3% and imports by 12.6% (-3.4% and -2.6%, respectively, in December 2020).
The deficit of trade balance in goods decreased by EUR 630 million when compared to the same month of 2020, amounting to EUR 834 million in January 2021. Excluding Fuels and lubricants, the trade deficit decreased by EUR 377 million, reaching EUR 600 million in January 2021.
In the quarter ended in January of 2021, exports and imports of goods decreased by 5.8% and 12.1%, respectively, when compared to the quarter ended in January 2020 (-3.2% and -10.2% in the same order, in the 4th quarter 2020).
In the total of 2020, Transport equipment was the economic category with the largest absolute decreases, in both exports (EUR -2.1 billion, -17.2%, mainly Passenger motor cars) and imports (EUR -5.0 billion, -33.6%, mainly the subcategory Other transport equipment, which includes aircraft) – see box in this press release.
Despite the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Portugal calls for the fullest possible cooperation from companies, households and public bodies in responding to Statistics Portugal data requests. The quality of official statistics, particularly their ability to help identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, crucially depends on this collaboration, for which Statistics Portugal thanks in advance.