Export growth take a hit in first quarter
EXPORTS took a hit in the first quarter as economic turmoil in the eurozone area prevented any real growth.
Merchandise exports grew by 0.1pc and services by a stronger 8.1pc bringing growth for the three months to 3.6pc.
The Irish Exporters Association also said there was a strong performance in exports to the UK which grew by 19pc in the quarter boosted by a weaker euro.
However, IEA chief executive John Whelan said more focus should be on emerging economies – the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China – although more attention is being paid to these regions now than in the past decade.
Exports to Brazil and Russia were up 32pc, and exports to India were up 14pc, but exports to China fell by 5pc.
''The return to recession in the euro zone, which accounts for 39% of our goods exports and 35% of service exports, has impacted on our exports in the first three months of the year,'' said Mr Whelan.
He added he is concerned that the eurozone crisis will spill over to the US and damage a sustained recovery in the US, another big export market.