Exports hit record high with 18% annual increase – Minister Bruton

Monthly goods exports exceed €9billion for first time 

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today [Friday] welcomed the latest goods trade figures published by the Central Statistics Office, which showed that goods exports were valued at over €9billion in August 2012, an increase of 18% on the August 2011 figure.

The statistics also showed that:

· Exports in August were up 16% on a seasonally adjusted basis over the July figure

· Exports to China in August 2012 were up over 20% on the August 2011 figure

Minister Bruton said:

“As I have said before, a strong export performance will be crucial to delivering the economic recovery we are all working so hard to achieve. Through the Action Plan for Jobs, the Government is determined to rebuild a sustainable economy based on enterprise, innovation and exports, and we are delivering on measures to deepen and develop the impact of multinational investment here and to make it easier for Irish companies to export more.

“Last year’s budget contained incentives for companies to place staff on the ground in external markets, the Action Plan for Jobs improved supports for exporters and as we speak the Taoiseach is in the United States continuing this Government’s intensive programme of trade and investment missions, of which I have travelled on ten since taking office.

“Conditions in international markets remain difficult, but today’s record figures show that Irish exporters are performing extraordinarily well in a tough environment. Other recent signs including the major jobs announcements we have seen this week from Irish companies trading in international markets show that there are real reasons for optimism about the transformation that is occurring in our economy.

“The challenge now is to build on these strengths. Major challenges remain but I am convinced that with continued strong implementation we can help drive for the export-led jobs recovery we need”.

Philip O’Sullivan, Chief Economist at NCB Commented: Drilling down into the data, we see that exports were strong across all of the key headings in August. Particularly strong yoy performances were recorded by food (+8.5% yoy), chemicals (+21.1% yoy), machinery (+10.8%) and ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ (+15.4%). This is encouraging given that those four headings collectively account for c. 90% of total Irish goods exports.

In the first 8 months of the year exports totalled €62.2bn (+2.4% yoy) and imports €32.5bn (-1.2% yoy), which produces a trade surplus of €29.7bn (+6.6% yoy). In all, these data point to a resumption of export growth in Q3 after a sluggish Q2.