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AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Higher Irish exports in February push trade surplus up 33 per cent

Latest CSO figures show a boost in export values in February 2011 in comparison with January.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED figures for February show that the value of Irish exports increased by 14 per cent that month compared with February 2010, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The latest figures show that because the value of exports rose 11 per cent in February on January’s levels, and imports fell 3 per cent, the trade surplus has widened by 33 per cent to €3.8bn.

In January, exports dipped slightly on last year’s figures, to €6.958bn. The export of medical and pharmaceutical products fell by 11 per cent. Exports to Belgium and Switzerland decreased by 28 per cent and 55 per cent respectively, while exports grew by around a quarter for trade to Great Britain and France.

Imports in January 2011 increased by 26 per cent to €4.228bn.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton welcomed the CSO figures today as a “re-assuring positive trend” in Ireland maintaining its recent export growth.

He said in a statement:

Irish companies are widening their market reach, expanding into new international markets, opening up new business. This is borne out by the statistics showing Irish exports are at an all-time high, which will be key to our economic recovery.

Pat Burke, a partner at Grant Thornton said that the figures show that “Irish businesses are capitalising on the global demand for high-quality goods and services”.

“While Ireland’s domestic outlook is bleak,” Burke continued, “businesses are looking abroad to make profits, and the strategy is paying off. Exporters in Ireland are optimistic about the opportunities available in new markets around the world.”

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