Trade surplus increases by €1bn
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose by €1 billion in August to a record high as exports rose in the month, new data from the Central Statistics Office showed today.
Preliminary figures indicated that exports rose by €1.26 billion, an increase of 16 per cent compared with July, to €9.1 billion. Imports, meanwhile, were €215 million higher, up 5 per cent on the previous month at almost €4.2 billion.That left the surplus at €4.92 billion for August, the highest on record.
The CSO said a rise of €478 million in unadjusted exports between July and August 2012 was behind the €1 billion increase, as usually there is a fall between the two months.
NCB Stockbrokers’ Philip O'Sullivan described the export figures as "a stunning performance", and noted that exports were strong across all of the key headings in August.
Year on year, the value of exports rose by 18 per cent, or €1.27 billion, pushed higher by increases in organic chemicals, medical and pharmaceutical products (up €219 million) and essential oils.
The EU remained the biggest market for Irish exports, accounting for 55 per cent, or €4.6 billion of total exports during the month. Britain and Belgium accounted for 27 per cent of the total.
The US, meanwhile, was responsible for 21 per cent of total exports.
Imports were €151 million higher compared with August 2011, with 60 per cent of imports coming from within the EU and 10 per cent from the US. China accounted for 6 per cent of imports.
Merrion’s Alan McQuaid said he expected some loss of momentum in merchandise export activity this year, as external demand moderated.