Ireland is 'success story of the euro area', says report
COMPETITIVENESS in Ireland has improved by nearly 10pc since the first quarter of 2008, according to an analysis from investment bank Investec.
The South African institution, which came to Ireland in 2000 when it acquired Gandon Capital Markets, calls this "one of the success stories of the euro-area crisis".
European Central Bank data shows that Ireland had the steepest improvement in competitiveness across the euro area over this period. Greece and Portugal – which are also in bailout programmes – had an average improvement of 7.5pc.
The Investec Ireland Export Analysis Report says this leaves the country "well placed to make further gains in export markets when the global recovery momentum builds".
However, Central Bank of Ireland statistics show that Ireland witnessed a small drop in competitiveness over the quarter ending in December 2012.
According to Investec, which recently acquired Irish wealth managers NCB, this was primarily driven by unfavourable exchange-rate movements against two of Ireland's largest export partners as the euro rose against both the dollar and sterling.
Even so, Ireland's competitiveness was still more than 3pc higher than it had been in the final quarter of 2011.
The report says trade to non-euro countries continues to grow. It also sees "ample scope" for Irish exports to BRICS countries to grow significantly over the coming year and calls China and Asia "bright spots" for trading.