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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Feb 15, 2013 - 1:54 AM


Irish Economy: Goods exports plunged 15% in December; Bruton welcomes trade figures
By Finfacts Team
Feb 13, 2013 - 2:54 PM

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Irish Economy: The value of goods exports for 2012 was €92.01bn, up 1% from 2011. Imports were up by 1.5% to €49.02bn resulting in a trade surplus of €42.98bn according to the CSO today. Preliminary estimates for December 2012 show seasonally adjusted exports of €6.84bn, down 15% on November 2012, mainly because of drugs patent expirations at US-owned plants, and seasonally adjusted importsat €3.80bn, were up up 1%. Richard Bruton TD, minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, today welcomed the latest "goods trade figures."

The main changes in 2012 for exports were: Exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products fell by €1,95bn (-7%) to €24.45bn. The value of petroleum exports increased by €441m (35%) to €1,69bn. In 2012, the United States (20%), Belgium (15%), Great Britain (15%) and Germany (8%) were Ireland’s main export markets.

Goods to Switzerland increased by €1.38bn (38%), to Germany by €1,24bn (20%) and to Great Britain by €949bn (7%). Exports to the United States fell from €21.60bn to €18.16bn (-16%).

The main changes in 2012 for imports were: Imports of Other transport equipment (including aircraft) increased by 6% to €2,49bn. Imports of Medical and pharmaceutical products fell by 6% to €4.13bn.

In 2012, Great Britain (31%), the United States (13%), Germany (7%) and China (6%) accounted for 57% of total imports. Imports from the United States increased by 8% to €6.40bn with decreases from Germany of 8% to €341bn and from Norway of 19% to €938m.

Conall Mac Coille, chief economist of Davy comments - - -"The euro-area recession and pharmaceutical 'patent cliff' have hurt Irish goods exports, down -3.4% in the year to Q3. Yesterday's December trade data saw an enormous -13.3% fall on the month. Total Irish annual export growth could be in negative territory in Q4, down sharply from the 5% calendar year growth recorded in 2011.
 Irish export growth continues to slow
 
 Stock indices were little changed yesterday. The Euro Stoxx was up 0.3% and the S&P500 was up 0.1%. Irish yields continued to fall, with the bid yield down to 3.64% at the close.
 
 Irish trade data for December showed a sharp 13.3% decline in volumes on the month. This meant that goods exports fell from €8.1bn in November, to €6.8bn. The entire fall was accounted for by pharmaceuticals. That said, even excluding the pharmaceutical sector, goods export growth continues to slow. Weak euro-area demand has hurt Irish goods exports, down -3.4% in the year to Q3 2012.
 
 Unfortunately, the strong rebound in aggregate industrial production (+8.5%) and pharmaceutical sector output (+17%) in December did not show up in the export data. This suggests that Irish goods exports might bounce back in January. But the lags and leads between pharmaceutical output and exports are not clear. And the ultimate impact of the pharmaceutical patent cliff on the sector in Ireland may not have fully played out.
 
 Overall, goods exports fell by 7.5% in Q4 2012. Should services exports fail to offset this decline in Q4 2012, annual export growth could fall into negative territory, down sharply from the 5% growth recorded in 2011."

Minister Bruton said he: "welcomed the latest goods trade figures...goods exports in 2012 increased on 2011 levels to hit €92billion, the highest figure since 2002.

In parallel, latest available figures show that services exports for the first nine months of 2012 are up over 11% on the equivalent period in 2011, meaning that the annual overall increase in exports for 2012 is likely to be significant."

He conveniently ignores that Dell is Ireland biggest goods exporter by booking its Polish plant output in Ireland; on services, maybe Bruton believes that Google diverting 45% of its global revenues to Ireland creates Irish services exports from thin air?

Get the facts here:

Irish Economy: Economic fairytales of Ireland, exports, FDI and the IMF

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