Robust exports again show increase

IRISH export performance impressed again in September with a 2% increase in value from August — while the country’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose by over €1 billion to €3.91bn.

Latest external trade figures published yesterday by the CSO show import value rose by 1% between August and September; while on an unadjusted and year-on-year basis the value of exports was up by 4% in September, while import value rose by 7%.

Also on an unadjusted basis, Ireland’s trade surplus rose to just under €4.2bn for the month.

According to Alan McQuaid — chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers, we should be aiming for a volume increase of around 7.5%, for 2010 and 6.5% for 2011 in goods and services exports, while the overall merchandise trade surplus will break through the €40bn level this year.

“The bottom line is that the export sector offers the one ray of light at the moment in a fairly gloomy economic picture, and will be the key driver of the Irish recovery story in the years ahead,” he added.

Yesterday’s CSO figures also showed that the value of Irish exports — over the first seven months of the year grew by 2% year-on-year to €58.2bn; while import value fell by the same percentage to €29.8bn.

Meanwhile, Pat McCloughan of PMCA Economic Consulting — said that the Government’s future competitiveness policy should surround export orientation.

“The policy direction should be towards sustained efforts to support export enterprises to expand and diversify, particularly into those markets that are growing strongest, including the emerging markets of China and India.

“Ireland exports goods to the value of €3.3bn to Asia, and has grown these exports by 3%. The food and drink sectors should also be a key focus where Irish-owned firms have a comparative advantage,” Mr McCloughan added.


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