Belfast Telegraph

Rise in Irish exports hints at recovery

The Irish economy may be heading towards a recovery, judging from an 8% rise in its trade surplus in June.

This is the country’s highest trade surplus in the past decade, at more than €4bn. Imports rose by 12%, but the cash value of these was exceeded by a 6% rise in exports.

The best-performing sector in terms of growth was dairy, exports from which jumped 47% Medical and pharma sales rose by 14%, worth €1.4bn, while organic chemical exports increased by 7%.

The largest factors in the higher imports bill came from aircraft and transport purchases, which rose by 34%, representing extra spending of €497m. Medical and pharma imports rose by 22% and petroleum by 17%.

Both imports and exports rose. In the first five months of this year, imports from NI were €415m, compared to €393m in the same period last year. Exports from the Republic to NI stood at €562m in the first five months this year, against €538m in 2010.

But, the overall trading picture for the Republic will only emerge when its statistics on services are published later this month. Ansgar Belke, an analyst with Germany’s Institute for Economic Research, says there are signs the Irish bail-out is working, with grounds for optimism, in part, because of its highly educated workforce.

Belfast Telegraph