Weaker euro improves Irish competitiveness
EXPORTS:Irish exports rose in the first quarter of 2012 despite turmoil in the euro zone as the weakening single currency improved competitiveness, a new report has found.
Exports reported a modest increase in the first three months of the year, according to the Investec Exports Analysis Report, which measures export demand, export competitiveness and the pace of GDP growth in Ireland’s 15 major trading partners.
A weakening euro against the dollar led to increased competitiveness of Irish exports, which rose by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, 1 per cent higher than the first three months of 2011. The US accounts for close to 25 per cent of Ireland’s merchandise exports.
The increase in the Investec Ireland Export Analysis Report Index (IIEAR) also reflects continued growth in the US and China over the quarter. Respectable growth in Germany and Belgium also helped the IIEAR’s positive momentum.
“While prospects for the global economy for 2012 remain challenging, Ireland is in fact at its most competitive level in almost a decade,” said Aisling Dodgson, head of treasury at Investec Ireland.
“With the euro weakening for three consecutive quarters, Irish exporters have the helping hand of a currency-related competitiveness improvement.”
However with the euro crisis still in full force, she warned the demand from many of Ireland’s main export markets was likely to remain subdued.