According to Istat, in the month of May 2011 there was a slightly positive change (+0.1%) in exports and slightly negative (-0.3%) in imports. These dynamics are derived from the contraction of the flows on non-EU markets (-1% for exports and -2.2% for imports) and an increase in EU markets (+1% and +1.3%, respectively). The trend growth remains robust in May for both sales (+19.9%), and purchases from abroad (+18.9%). These trends have been consolidated in the first five months, a trend growth of 17.6% for exports and 21.7% for imports, the greater intensity for non-EU trade, which recorded increases higher than 20%. The trade deficit in May was 2.4 billion euro, an improvement compared to the previous months and almost in line with the month of May 2010 (-2.3 billion). The balance of non-energy is positive, amounting to 2.8 billion and in progress compared to the same month last year (2.1 billion euro). The most dynamic group has been that of intermediate products both for exports (+21.7% in trend terms) and import (+27.1%), followed by capital goods (+19.3% for exports ) and energy products (+20.9% for imports and +28.8% for exports). The significant growth in exports in May was driven by sales of basic metals and fabricated metal products to Germany, Switzerland and France, which accounts for 2.3 percentage points of the overall increase. Sports, games, musical and medical instruments, precious and other products to Switzerland (0.5 points); machinery and equipment to the United States (0.4 points). The increase in imports is determined primarily by purchases of natural gas from Russia, of chemical substances and products from Belgium, of vehicles from Germany and electronic and optical equipment from China.