Business Irish

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Trade surplus expanded by a fifth in April - CSO

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The goods trade surplus expanded by more than a fifth in April as exports increased and imports fell.

Preliminary figures for the month, published by the Central Statistics Office, shows that seasonally adjusted goods exports increased by €254m to €9.24bn in the month.

By contrast, goods imports slipped by 11pc to €4.7bn, dragged down by a fall in machinery imports.

This meant that the trade surplus increased €819m, or 22pc, to €4.53bn.

Year-on-year, the value of goods exports slipped 2pc in April compared with the same month last year.

The value of goods exports for the period January to April was €36.44bn, an increase of €770 million when compared with the first four months of last year.

The EU accounted for half of total goods exports in April, of which €1.2bn went to Belgium and around €1bn to Britain.

The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2.42bn of total exports.

The EU accounted for 62pc of the value of goods imports in April, with €1.2bn coming from Britain.

Economists fear the fall-out of a potential vote in the UK to withdraw from the European Union on Ireland’s crucial export sector.

If a so-called Brexit occcurs, sterling is expected to plummet in value, which would have a knock-on effect for Irish exports into the UK market.

There are also wider issues over trade between the two countries.

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