Irish goods trade, April
Goods export growth remains weak
18 June 2012
Conall Mac Coille, Chief economist
Irish goods exports and imports fall back in April
The nominal value of Irish goods exports fell marginally below €7bn in April for the first time since 2009.
Imports fell by €1bn to €3.6bn in April.
This meant the nominal trade in goods surplus rose marginally from €3.1bn in March to €3.4bn in April.
Further sign goods export growth slowing
On the year, nominal goods exports are down 7.7% although the series is extremely volatile.
The relatively weak out-turn in April is consistent with the broad trend of slowing goods export growth.
But the contribution of the sector to GDP growth could be stronger than the monthly data suggest
The monthly data capture physical movement of goods exports rather than value-added.
The correlation with the value added contribution to GDP growth has been very poor in recent quarters.
After a 6.2% fall in Q4, related to measurement of multinational sector profits, goods export volumes could temporarily rebound in Q1.
Slowing goods exports leave economy reliant on services
Today's release suggests goods export growth continues to slow in 2012, leaving the Irish economy ever more reliant on the strongly performing traded services sector, up 5.4% in the year to Q4 2011.