ROME, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Italy's exports expanded by 35 percent in May compared to the previous month, according to a new report published by the country's National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) on Thursday.
"The marked increase in exports on a monthly basis is due to strong increases in sales to both non-European Union (EU) markets (+36.5 percent) and to the EU area (+33.7 percent)," ISTAT analysts wrote.
On a monthly basis, Italy's imports grew by a more modest 5.6 percent in the same period due to a "resumption of purchases from the EU area," ISTAT said.
"After two months of significant contraction, we record an initial and significant recovery on a monthly basis of exports to both the non-EU-27 area and towards the EU," ISTAT wrote.
On a yearly basis, exports fell by 30.4 percent overall (meaning both EU and non-EU countries) due to a contraction in foreign sales of machinery, metals and means of transportation.
Italy's exports to China decreased by 25.7 percent in May 2020 year-on-year, and by 21.9 percent in the January-May period this year compared to the same period last year, according to ISTAT.
However, ISTAT pointed out that the overall yearly contraction in exports shows "a marked mitigation" compared to April 2020, when Italy's exports plummeted by 41.5 percent overall year-on-year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that followed.