Exports continue to grow - 8pc hike in first four months
Exports grew by 8pc in the first four months of the year, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Medical and pharmaceutical products fuelled the growth while more than one half of all of exports went to the Britain and the US.
On a monthly basis, exports remained static in May while the value of imports fell by 24pc.
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus was up 44pc to €3.7bn in May having fallen to €2.6m in April, the lowest positive balance since December 2009.
Economists welcomed the figures but added that they also highlight the ongoing disparity between the domestic and export markets.
“These latest figures are further evidence of the two-tier Irish economy that pertains at present, with a robust export sector on the one hand but a very weak consumer on the other,” said Bloxham Stockbrokers chief economist Alan McQuaid.
“ The bottom line is that the export sector offers the one ray of light at the moment in a still fairly dismal economic picture, and will be the key driver of the Irish recovery story in the short-term.
“All in all, we still think 2011 will be a decent year for Irish exports, with the merchandise trade surplus now forecast to be around €45/46bn compared with €43.5bn in 2010, and leading to another positive contribution from net exports to GDP growth.