| 6.5°C Dublin

Ireland records third highest trade surplus in the EU

Ireland had the highest trade surplus in the EU after Germany and the Netherlands in the first half of the year.

The surplus figure of €21.9bn was boosted by higher exports, according to Eurostat.

The figure represents a rise of €0.8bn between January and June.

Britain recorded the biggest deficit in the same period followed by France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Other figures showed that Irish labour costs are continuing to fall as we try and increase competitiveness.

In the second quarter of the year, hourly labour costs here fell the second most after Greece.

The decrease for Ireland was 3.5pc compared with an increase of 3.6pc in the wider eurozone 17 countries.