Wednesday 22 November 2017

Irish economy experiences strong start to 2017

Headline retail sales growth has moderated in 2017. (Stock image)
Headline retail sales growth has moderated in 2017. (Stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Irish economy experienced a strong start to 2017, driven largely by a robust export performance.

Exports have to-date risen 10pc year-on-year, with the country’s trade surplus expanding by 18pc to €17.1bn, according to the latest Investec Irish Economy Monitor.

This is particularly impressive given the currently sterling violation.

It is expected that the good momentum in the exports sector will continue.

Read more: Irish manufacturers record fourth largest growth in the eurozone

Domestically, despite unemployment now at a nine year low and personal finances strengthening, headline retail sales growth has moderated.

The slowing of retail sales growth is largely due to a 10pc year-on-year decline in new car sales, however core sales, excluding motor, continue to show good momentum.

“The Irish economy continues to show good momentum, with any concerns about foreign exchange related pressure on ‘big ticket items’ offset by a buoyant export performance,” Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist at Investec, said.

The government coffers meanwhile experienced a mixed start to 2017, however a strong performance in May has brought tax receipts back to within 1.4pc of the government’s target.

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