Tuesday 26 September 2017

US and UK drive exports but eurozone growth uneven

Eurozone growth uneven
Eurozone growth uneven
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

AN index measuring Ireland's export potential reached a three-year high during the third quarter of last year, but the pace of recovery among our main trading partners remains uneven.

Buoyant growth in the United States and UK helped drive the positive data. Together they accounted for the vast bulk of the quarterly improvement as recovery in both economies gained momentum last year.

The slightly firmer expansion in Belgian economy and another robust performance from China also helped.

By contrast, however, the eurozone was responsible for only a fraction of the increase, a symptom of the hesitancy of the economic recovery in the 17-member bloc, according to the Ireland Export Analysis Report from specialist bank Investec.

Aisling Dodgson, Investec's Ireland Head of Treasury, said exporters should benefit from a continued pick up in the US and UK.

"Despite the brighter outlook, the pace of expansion across Ireland's main trading partners will clearly remain uneven, which may see some firms recalibrating the geographic spread of their sales efforts over the coming year," Ms Dodgson said.

"This will require careful planning on how to manage currency exposures, which takes on an added importance at a time when some central banks have begun the process of unwinding the unprecedented policy accommodation we have seen over the past number of years."

The report, which captures export demand, export competitiveness and the pace of GDP growth in Ireland's 15 major trading partners, showed that the index increased by 0.6pc during the three months to the end of September.

This is compared to a gain of 0.5pc in quarter 2.

The eurozone as a whole was responsible for less than 0.1pc points of the rise.

The index is the quarter on quarter rate of growth or change in our main trading partners, a weighted average of various metrics.

Positive figures from Ireland's trading partners boost the state's export potential.

Ireland's export potential is also influenced by the pace of expansion in the country's main export markets.

Irish Independent

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