Exports rise 2%, CSO figures show

Irish exports continue to the be the star of the economy rising by 2% according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the CSO, but the domestic economy is “stagnant”.

Despite fears the export sector was about to fall off the “patent cliff” after very weak figures from the pharmaceutical sector in September, output from the pharma sector was up 3.3%.

Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist at NCB stockbrokers, said the sector had not fallen as much as had been feared.

“The main point of interest in this release will be around chemicals exports, given concerns about the potential impact of the “patent cliff”. Industrial production data pointed to an improvement in that segment during October, and CSO’s release confirms this.

“Exports of chemicals and related products were 3.3% higher month on month.

“However, on an annual basis they are 6% lower compared to the outturn for Oct 2011. That said, total exports in the year to date in that segment are only 1.1% below year-earlier levels.”

Seasonally adjusted imports fell by €294m or down by 7%.

The combination of the fall in imports and marginal rise in exports has combined to give a trade surplus of 14% or €3.2bn.

Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland deputy CEO, said: “These figures highlight that the export sector is continuing to compensate for the distressed domestic sector, further enforcing the difficulties in the domestic economy.

“More needs to be done, and should have been done in Budget 2013, to support SMEs operating in the Irish market if the domestic economy is to recover.”

The performance of the EU as a whole is key to the Irish recovery. 60% of Irish exports are bound for other member states.


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