Italian exports to China and Russia rose sharply in July, official data showed on Friday, bringing hope to government forecasts of a recovery starting this year.
The trade figures showed exports rose 3.5 percentage points in July compared to July 2012, with increases of 23.4 percent for China and 17.2 percent for Russia.
But the data from the Istat agency showed exports had fallen by two percentage points from the level in June, particularly in consumer and intermediary products, while imports had risen by 1.6 points.
The trade surplus to countries outside the European Union was €2.8 billion, far bigger than a surplus of €1.9 billion in July 2012.
Imports fell by 1.9 percent on a 12-month comparison.