Value of goods exports surges while imports hit highest level since 2008
The value of this country's good exports rose by more than 2pc last year and the level of imports rose to their highest annual level in seven years.
Imports were up 7pc, narrowing the trade surplus by 4pc. Analysts said the data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed 2014 recorded a marked improvement in the country's export performance.
"The bigger picture is that Ireland's trade performance improved in 2014, with goods exports up 2.4pc on the year and the ICT sector driving services exports," said Davy economist Conall MacCoille.
Preliminary figures for the year show an increase in the value of goods exports of €2.1bn, or more than 2pc, to €89bn compared to 2013.
Imports increased by €3.6bn, or 7pc, to €53.6bn. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed 4pc to €35.5bn.
Exports of medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €973m, or 5pc, to €22.27bn in 2014. Exports of Organic chemicals decreased by €423m, or 2pc.
Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers said he believes the export performance will dip this year.
"Although not as strong as 2014, we still see Irish exports of goods and services rising by a healthy 7pc in volume terms this year."
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the figures were encouraging, with goods exports showing impressive year-on-year growth.