Economic glass is half-full
The excellent trade and tourism figures published by the CSO yesterday provided further evidence that, at least for some sectors of the economy, the worst of the downturn is over. In June, we exported €7.9bn worth of goods but imported just €3.8bn, giving us a record trade surplus of more than €4bn.
The June trade figures confirm the strong recovery in Irish competitiveness since 2008 as private sector employers have aggressively cut costs. Exports from multinational companies based in Ireland have grown strongly, with machinery exports, which includes the IT sector, up 17pc in the first five months of the year, while exports of chemicals and related products, which includes pharmaceuticals, are up 21pc.
Unfortunately, the increase in multinational exports will have only a limited impact on the rest of the economy.