Balance of payments surplus hits record high
THE IRISH economy recorded its biggest ever balance of payments surplus in the second quarter of the year, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Global earnings exceeded payments to the rest of the world by €3.2 billion from April to June.
Total foreign earnings accruing to Irish residents reached a record €61.3 billion in the second quarter.
Irish residents’ foreign earnings come mainly from three sources: receipts from services exports; receipts from goods exports; and income from investments abroad.
Income accruing to Irish residents from their foreign investments stood at €15.3 billion in the second quarter. This was up by €1 billion on the previous quarter, but remains approximately 50 per cent down on peaks registered before the financial crisis.
Receipts from exports of goods stood at €22.1 billion in the second quarter. This represented a modest 1.1 per cent quarterly increase, but was enough to push earnings over €22 billion for the first time since 2005.
Services exports have recently grown to become the largest single generator of foreign earnings. In the second quarter they surged to set yet another new record of €22.8 billion. This represented a 8.1 per cent increase in just three months.
Balance of payments figures give the most detailed information on Ireland’s large and rapidly growing internationally traded services sector.
Further disaggregation of the figures show that exports of computer services continue to contributed strongly to the overall improvement in Ireland’s international payments position.
Earnings from computer services reached another new record in the second quarter, standing at €9.2 billion. Growth on the quarter was €600 million.