Spain’s food and beverages industry grew 1.5% last year to €6.5bn (US$8.6bn), cementing a recovery after years of sagging expansion, trade federation FIAB has announced.

The numbers signal a “consolidated recovery in the sector, which grew very little or even negatively in the past few years,” FIAB’s president, Arturo Gil, said.

Gil added that Spanish households spent €1,170 per person last year, up €72 from 2003. The industry accounted for 17% of Spain’s industrial output.

Imports, however, surged 6.5% to €15bn compared to a 5.4% jump in exports to €13bn, reversing a strong exports trend.