Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

Weak euro and global stability push Q3 exports up

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

EXPORT levels increased during the third quarter of the year, says a leading trade group.

According to the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), merchandise exports increased 12.8pc, or €2.6bn, between July and September. Services exports rose 4.9pc, or €822m, to help bring total exports for the quarter to €40.4bn. That represented a 9.3pc increase on the same period last year.

Merchandise exporters in particular are believed to have gained from a broadening out of the growth across most of Ireland's main international trading markets.

The acceleration in export growth was assisted by the continued stability in global trade, and the improvement in "exchange rate competitiveness" in the quarter. The euro exchange rate with the dollar was down 10pc on last year, allowing exports to the US to grow for the first time in two years.

"Irish exports are now competitive into the US, provided the US Treasury does not re-enter the currency market to weaken the dollar," said IEA chief executive John Whelan, who also pointed to growth in the UK.

"The concern for the indigenous exporters is the return to weakness in sterling in October, which if persistent will undo the clawback of markets from the third quarter."

Results so far this year indicate that it will be a good one for exporters with a "relatively strong" return to growth.

However, Mr Whelan said it was "difficult to overstate" the issues exporters faced and called for a pro-business Budget from the Government.

Irish Independent

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