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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM

Irish goods exports in 2008 - - dominated by US firms - - down 3%; Imports down 10%; Promise of relief for Irish-owned Exporters in April Emergency Budget
By Finfacts Team
Mar 27, 2009 - 1:55:05 PM

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Source: CSO

Irish exports of goods trade for the year 2008 were €86,218m, 3% down on 2007. Excluding a substantial decline in computers, exports held steady. Computer equipment decreased from €12,577m to €9,322m (-26%), reflecting the wind-down of Dell's Limerick operation and Organic chemicals from €19,641m to €17,853m (-9%).

Chemicals increased from €2,664m to €3,483m (+31%), Pharmaceuticals from €14,749m to €16,704m (+13%) and Professional, scientific and controlling apparatus from €2,109m to €2,779m (+32%).

Goods to Great Britain decreased from €15,002m to €14,302m (-5%) and to Switzerland from €3,251m to €2,555m (-21%). Goods to the United States increased from €15,825m to €16,657m (+5%), to China from €1,989m to €2,323m (+17%), to Malaysia from €694m to €1,062m (+53%) and to Spain from €3,281m to €3,587m (+9%).

Irish merchandise exports are dominated by US-owned firms.

Imports for 2008 were €56,964m, down 10% on 2007.

Computer equipment decreased from €9,277m to €6,754m (-27%). Other transport equipment (including aviation equipment) decreased from €2,605m to €2,169m (-17%) and Road vehicles from €4,575m to €3,183m (-30%).

Pharmaceuticals increased from €2,397m to €2,866m (+20%), Petroleum and related materials from €4,479m to €4,813m (+7%) and Natural gas from €1,039m to €1,378m (+33%).

Goods from China and Hong Kong decreased from €5,169m to €4,224m (-18%), Japan from €1,631m to €1,137m (-30%), Germany from €5,591m to €4,623m (-17%) and Great Britain from €19,508m to €17,882m (-8%). undefined undefined

Goods from Denmark increased from €667m to €1,031m (+55%) and Poland from €268m to €456m (+70%).

In December 2008 the value of exports was €6,772m, up €608m (+10%) on December 2007, while imports were €4,135m, down €959m (-19%).

The seasonally adjusted value of exports in December 2008 was €6,789m, 4% down on November 2008, while imports were €3,868m, down 11%.

Preliminary estimates for January 2009 (see Table 5) show exports of €7,014m, down 1% on January 2008 and imports of €3,946m, down 28%. The corresponding seasonally adjusted values for January 2009 are €7,308m for exports and €3,907m for imports.

Outcome of IEA meeting with Government on Economic Export Stimulus to coincide with 7th April Budget .

After this morning’s Irish Exporters' Association (IEA) meeting with Government officials as part of the Renew Partnership discussions, John Whelan, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) stated: “We were assured that the major challenges facing exporters in terms of credit insurance, stimulus funding for exporters generally but in particular for those trading with the Sterling area, would be addressed in an Economic Renewal package that would be announced on the 7th April.”

Arising from the meeting, there was acceptance by the IEA that the Governments three top priorities were:

  • Stabilising the banking system

  • Public Finances

  • Restoring Irelands economic competitiveness through an Economic Renewal stimulus.

“However,’’ stated John Whelan, “Government accepted that export sales are being lost and jobs being terminated on a daily basis, which were adding to the Public Finance deterioration. Hence, the economic imperative to, without further delay, introduce the Economic Renewal stimulus package.”

The IEA further advised that the Government officials advised their most recent review of the state of the economy was as follows:

  • Irish GDP will fall by 6.5% in 2009

  • Inflation will be Minus 3.5% average across the year 2009

  • Unemployment would rise from 350,000 at end of February to approx 500,000 by year end

  • Government Deficit for 2009 would be in region of 12% of GDP

  • Interest payments by Government on borrowings would rise form the current level of 5% of Tax Revenue to 12% by year end.

  • The Budget would focus on tough choices between current and capital expenditure and taxation.

Further meetings are expected across the week end and we will keep you appraised of the outcome asap.

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