Companies expect to increase exports of goods by 2,9% this year

According to INE

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Companies expect to increase exports of goods by 2,9% this year, compared to 2023, countering the accumulated drop of 1,1% between January and November last year, according to a survey released today by INE.

By Major Economic Categories (CGCE), the biggest increase is expected in exports of “machines, other capital goods (except transport material) and their accessories” (+4,5%), followed by “transport material and accessories” (+4,3%), says the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Conversely, in “industrial supplies not specified in another category” a decrease of 0,7% is expected.

Carried out last November with 3.245 companies (with a response rate of 95%), corresponding to around 85% of goods exports for the year 2022, the “Survey on Goods Export Perspectives (IPEB)” is a first companies' forecast for the expected evolution of their exports of goods in 2024 and may, as INE warns, “reflect, to a high degree, uncertainty regarding developments in the international framework”.

According to the institute, only micro-enterprises (with less than 10 people employed, which represent just 5% of the companies analyzed) foresee a decrease in their exports of goods in 2024 (-3,8%), contrary to global expectations of companies that responded to IPEB (+2,9%).

The remaining companies expect increases: +4,7% for larger companies (with 250 or more people employed, which represent 15% of the companies under analysis), +3,2% for medium-sized companies (52% of companies in analysis), +0,9% in small ones (28%).

Companies integrated into economic groups expect an increase in their exports in 2024 (+4,2%), while companies that do not belong to an economic group show a slight decrease (-0,7%).

Analyzing the results taking into account the age groups of the companies, it can be seen that in all age groups a growth in exports of goods is expected in 2024, which is, however, “less significant” in adult companies (+1,3 %), while young and senior companies point to “more significant increases” (+4,2% and +4,5%, respectively).

With regard to companies by type of technology, those classified in low and medium low technology sectors anticipate more significant growth (+4,6%) than those in high and medium high technology (+2,8%).

INE also states that companies that carry out innovation activities expect more significant increases in their exports of goods in 2024 (+5,7%), while companies considered as non-innovative expect an increase of 1,2%.

“It should be noted that innovation activities include product and/or process innovation and, therefore, have an impact that can be significant in differentiating companies in international markets”, explains the statistical institute.

In turn, companies with a very high and high digital intensity index expect increases in their exports in 2024 (+10,4% and +3,1%, respectively), while those with a low and very low digital intensity index expect decreases (-1,8% and -1,4%, respectively).

According to INE, companies' expectations for the evolution of their exports of goods in 2023 differ across the various sectors of activity, “there being, on the one hand, expected increases as a result of price increases or the implementation of new production lines and, on the other, prospects of a reduction in export activity resulting from the anticipation of a contraction in demand, scheduled stoppages or discontinuity of production lines, in response to market conditions, disruptions in global value chains and increases in factor costs of production".

“Uncertainty regarding price developments is once again highlighted by companies as a factor that significantly influences their forecasts for the export of goods for 2024, as well as new production lines or new products and markets”, he highlights.