Madrid/Palma.—Spain's trade deficit was halved in April as exports soared, especially to China and other fast-growing emerging markets, the government said yesterday, a rare glimmer of good news for a nation struggling in a double-dip recession.

Spain, with the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy, posted a deficit of 1.642 billion euros in April compared to a deficit of 3.355 billion euros, the Economy Ministry said.

Exports jumped 18.6 percent from a year earlier to 20.398 billion euros while imports rose 7.2 percent to 22.04 billion euros.
A trade surplus is a factor of growth in an economy, whereas a deficit tends to sap growth.
Spain, boosted exports especially to markets outside of the European Union, the ministry said, noting that exports soared by 32.1 percent to China, 30.4 percent to Africa and 23.9 percent to Latin America.

Exports to the rest of the European Union, where Spain's main trading partners are also battling recession, were up by 13.2 percent.
Exports, have been a rare bright spot for the Spanish economy, which is struggling to recover from a property crash in 2008 that has pushed the jobless rate up to a record 27 percent, saddled banks with a pile of bad loans and caused government debt to soar.