Wednesday 24 January 2018

CSO figures show exports of services to outpace goods

Brendan Keenan

SERVICES exports should exceed those of goods for the first time this year, one analyst said, as new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed a 3pc fall in the value of exports of goods last year.

Recent figures based on financial flows showed services exports at €18.96bn in the final quarter of last year.

This was just ahead of the more detailed trade figure for goods of €18.84bn published yesterday.

"At the turn of the millennium, services only accounted for €20bn of exports, while merchandise goods were worth €80bn. Since then, merchandise exports have remained unchanged, while services have increased to €70bn," Ronnie O'Toole, chief economist at NIB bank said.


Yesterday's data showed exports were worth €83.5bn last year. A fall of over one-fifth in imports to €44.8bn left a trade surplus of €38.7bn, almost €10bn more than in 2008.

Imports of road vehicles plummeted by 72pc last year, and purchases of computer equipment were down 26pc.

Weaker sterling contributed to a 15pc fall in exports to Britain, but exports to Germany were down 21pc. Among the gains, sales to the US were up 5pc those to China rose 4pc.

Separate CSO figures show that building industry output in the final three months of last year was down 33.8pc.

Irish Independent

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