PORTUGUESE EXPORTS portrayed strong growth in the first half of 2006, when compared to the same period in 2005. These latest figures are the strongest indication yet that the Portuguese economy might be finally on the road to recovery.
During May, national exports to European Union countries rose by 15.8 per cent when compared with the same month last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Portuguese Statistics Institute (INE).
During the first five months of 2006, exports to EU countries represented 10.3 per cent of total generated income.
In relation to exports outside the EU up until June 2006, the results are even more positive. Exports rose by 38.1 per cent with exportation particularly strong to countries such as Angola and the United States. During the first half of the year, exports outside the EU grew 27.6 per cent against the same period last year.
One of the main reasons for the increase in Portuguese exports is the rise in sales of petroleum-based products produced in Portugal and the overall price increases in that particular market.
This general improvement in the balance sheets of Portuguese companies bears out the positive results recently released by the Bank of Portugal, which anticipates overall exports representing 8.4 per cent of the total economic output, sustaining a growth in the economy of over one per cent.