Ireland’s trade surplus widens

Billy Kelleher

Billy Kelleher

Ireland’s trade surplus in September was €4.2bn as exports increase by 2pc in the month.

According to official figures from the Central Statistics Office, Ireland’s exports rose 2pc in the month and 4pc in the year, when compared with September 2009.

At the same time, imports increased by 1pc, resulting in a trade surplus of €4.2bn.

Exports for the eight months between January and August increased by 2pc to €58.2bn when compared to the same period in the previous year. The most notable increases occurred in the exports of metal ores and scrap metal, which increased by a massive 89pc.

Exports to the US, Belgium and Great Britain account for more than half of the total value of exports.

The total value of imports in the eight months decreased by 2pc or €651m to €29.7bn.

Minister for Trade Billy Kelleher said the new data shows that economic recovery is being maintained.

“The drop in our exports over the first four months of this year has been reversed, with continuous growth between May and September,” he said.

“The spike in our imports indicates renewed activity in the economy as businesses buy raw materials and consumers spend more.”

He added that the figures demonstrate the resilience of Irish exporters in difficult times.

“They show, too, that the Government’s strategy in investing in an export-led economic recovery is the right one. Enterprise Ireland projects that its client firms will this year recover about 70pc of the export earnings lost last year.

“A key reason for Ireland’s strong export performance is our sharply improving competitiveness and the Government will continue to pursue that agenda,” he concluded.