Strong growth in the export sector in the last 12 months is reflected in the latest CSO figures which show a 15% rise in January exports compared to the same period last year.
Exports broke the €8bn mark as medical and pharmaceutical products (+26%) as well as chemical products (+18%) drove the €1.05bn annual increase.
While a sharp year-on-year increase was recorded in January, the level of exports declined slightly from the final month of 2014.
Between December and January the value of the country’s exports fell €443m or 5%.
The country’s main export markets remained the EU which accounted for €4.16bn (52%) of exports in January 2015 while the USA remained the main non-EU destination accounting for 24% or €1.9bn of the total.
Meanwhile, the value of imports at close to €4.8bn was €241m (5%) higher on an a year-on-year basis than the previous January.
Imports of organic chemicals rose €179m (+61%) to €472m and imports of vehicles rose €81m, or 32%, to €338m.
The EU again accounted for the greatest share of imports at almost €6 in every €10 spent on goods from the outside the country originating within the union.
Britain meanwhile, accounted for another 26% of imports with the USA (10%) and China (7%) the country’s main source of non-EU imports.
Competitive gains on European rivals and the strong economies of the US and UK helped Irish exports perform well in 2014 with this year earmarked for similar growth.
Although not as strong as 2014, Merrion Stockbrokers anticipate exports posting a high single-digit volume increase this year, which would help contribute another 4% GDP growth rate.
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