Tuesday May 16 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Widens To Record High In March
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by 12 percent to a record high of €5,051 million in March 2017 from a downwardly revised €4,494 million in the previous month, as exports fell by 4 percent while imports dropped at a faster 16 percent, preliminary figures showed. Meanwhile, the non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 59.1 percent year-on-year to €5,247 million, as exports increased by 10 percent, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products, while imports went down 15 percent.

Seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €426 million, or 4 percent, to €10,150 in March 2017 from the previous month; and imports decreased by €983 million, or 16 percent, to €5,099 million, preliminary figures showed.

The non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 59.1 percent year-on-year to €5,247 million, as exports increased by €958 million, or 10 percent, to €11,062 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (30 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (60 percent), and food and live animals (14 percent).

The EU accounted for €5,453 million, or 49 percent, of total goods exports in March 2017, an increase of €450 million, or 9 percent, compared with March 2016. The biggest EU destination for exports was Belgium, which accounted for €1,388 million. Exports to the UK decreased by €9 million, or 1 percent, to €1,129 million, due to a decrease in the exports of machinery and transport equipment. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,978 million, or 27 percent, of total exports in March 2017. Exports to Non-EU countries increased by €508 million, or 10 percent, to €5,609 million.

Meanwhile, imports declined by €992 million, or 15 percent, to €5,815 million compared with March 2016, mainly due to lower purchases of road vehicles (-17 percent). By contrast, imports of petroleum increased by 65 percent and those of chemicals and related products rose by 18 percent.

The EU accounted for €3,737 million, or 64 percent, of the value of goods imports in March 2017, a decrease of €234 million, or 6 percent, compared with March 2016. Imports from the UK increased by €76 million, or 6 percent, to €1,371 million, boosted by imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. The US with €774 million, or 13 percent, and China with €354 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries in March 2017 was €2,078 million, a decrease of €758 million, or 27 percent, compared with March 2016.

In the first quarter of the year, the trade surplus increased to €13.3 billion from €10.1 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 11 percent to €30.2 billion while imports fell 2 percent to €16.9 billion.




Thursday May 11 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Rises To 4-Year High In April
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.9 percent in the year to April 2017 after rising by 0.7 percent in the previous month and beating market consensus of a 0.3 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since February 2013, mainly driven by higher cost of transport.

Year-on-year, the biggest upwards contribution came from: Transport (7.2 percent from 5.3 percent in March); restaurants and hotels (2 percent from 2.2 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (1.7 percent from 2 percent). Additional gains came from: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1 percent, the same as in March); and health (2.2 percent from 1.7 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.7 percent from -2.6 percent in March); recreation and culture (-2 percent from -2.4 percent); clothing and footwear (-4.3 percent from -3.8 percent); and furnishings and household equipment (-4.9 percent from -4.5 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, rose to 0.7 percent from 0.2 percent in March.
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew by 0.4 percent, easing from a 0.6 percent rise in the previous month but way above market expectations of a 0.1 percent drop. The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Transport (2.3 percent) and restaurants and hotels (0.5 percent). There were decreases in furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-0.8 percent) and clothing and footwear (-0.6 percent)

The harmonized index increased by 0.7 percent compared to a year earlier and by 0.4 percent in the month.




Wednesday May 03 2017
Irish Unemployment Rate Falls To Near 9-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in April 2017 from 6.4 percent in the previous month and 8.4 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest jobless rate since June 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to decline.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 135,800 in April 2017, down from 140,600 when compared to the March 2017 figure and a decrease of 47,300 when compared to April 2016. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in March and from 9.7 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in the previous month and from 6.8 percent in April 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,000 from the previous month to 81,400, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 2,800 to 54,400.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 12.9 percent, the lowest reading since June 2008, from 13.7 percent in the previous month.

Unemployment has fallen sharply since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.2 percent in January 2012.




Tuesday April 18 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Falls From Record High As Imports Rise
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus decreased by 9 percent to €4,736 million in February 2017 from a downwardly revised record high of €5,187 million in the previous month, as imports jumped by 16 percent while exports rose at a slower 3 percent, preliminary figures showed. Meanwhile, the non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 39.1 percent year-on-year to €4,265 million.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports increased by €800 million, or 16 percent, to €5,883 million from the previous month; and exports increased by €349 million, or 3 percent, to €10,619 million, preliminary figures showed.

The non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 39.1 percent year-on-year to €4,265 million, as exports increased by €1,303 million, or 15 percent, to €9,738 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (37 percent), and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (28 percent).

Exports to the UK increased by €189 million, or 19 percent, to €1,162 million. The main products accounting for this increase were exports of chemicals and related products which increased by €158 million, or 58 percent, to €433 million. The EU accounted for €4,853 million, or 50 percent, of total goods exports, of which €1,115 million went to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,945 million, or 30 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports rose by €105 million, or 2 percent, to €5,473 million compared with February 2016, mainly due to higher purchases of petroleum (25 percent). By contrast, imports of office machines and automatic data processing machines dropped 31 percent.

The EU accounted for 63 percent of the value of goods imports in February 2017, with €1,219 million, or 22 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. Imports from the UK decreased by €54 million, or 4 percent, compared with February 2016., mainly due to small decreases in the imports of food and live animals and machinery and transport equipment. The US with €767 million, or 14 percent, and China with €283 million, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

In the first two months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €8.5 billion from €6.8 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 12 percent to €19.2 billion while imports rose 3 percent to €10.7 billion.


Thursday April 13 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Rises To 3-1/2-Year High In March
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.7 percent in the year to March 2017 after rising by 0.5 percent in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since July 2013, driven by higher cost for transport, restaurants and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services.

Year-on-year, the biggest upwards contribution came from: Transport (5.3 percent from 3.6 percent in February); restaurants and hotels (2.2 percent from 2.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2 percent from 2.1 percent). Additional gains came from: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1 percent from 1.4 percent in February); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.5 percent from -0.1 percent); and health (inflation steady at 1.7 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.6 percent, the same as in February); recreation and culture (-2.4 percent, the same as in February); and clothing and footwear (-3.8 percent from -2.5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, was recorded at 0.2 percent.
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew by 0.6 percent, the same as in the previous month. The most significant monthly price changes were increases in transport (2.1 percent) and clothing and footwear (1.9 percent). There were decreases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (-0.3 percent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (-0.2 percent).

The harmonized index increased by 0.6 percent compared to a year earlier and by 0.6 percent in the month.


Tuesday April 04 2017
Irish Jobless Rate Falls To Nearly 9-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in March 2017 from 6.6 percent in the previous month and 8.3 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest jobless rate since June 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to decline.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 141,400 in March 2017, down from 144,700 when compared to the February 2017 figure and a decrease of 39,800 when compared to March 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 6.9 percent, down from 7.1 percent in February and from 9.8 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in the previous month and from 6.6 percent in March 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,200 from the previous month to 83,500, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 1,100 to 57,900.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 13.9 percent, the lowest reading since July 2008, from 14.5 percent in the previous month.

Unemployment has fallen sharply since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.2 percent in January 2012.


Wednesday March 15 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Reaches Record High
CSO | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland recorded a EUR 5.75 billion trade surplus in January of 2017 compared to a downwardly revised EUR 3.79 billion surplus in the previous month. It is the biggest surplus on record as exports jumped 7 percent to record high while imports slumped 20 percent to the lowest in a year.

Exports rose to EUR 10.84 billion, recovering from a 2 percent drop in December. Imports declined to EUR 5.09 billion, following a 1.2 percent drop in December. 

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports went up 14 percent compared to the previous year, boosted by sales of chemicals and related products (14 percent) and machinery and transport equipment (14 percent). Imports went up 3 percent year-on-year, mainly due to a 66 percent jump in purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

The EU accounted for EUR 5.086 billion (51 percent) of total goods exports in January of which EUR 1.355 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.073 billion to Great Britain. The USA was the largest export destination accounting for EUR 3.104 million (31 percent) of total sales. Goods imports from the EU made up 60 percent of the total purchases, with EUR 1.251 billion (24 percent) coming from Great Britain. The USA with EUR 0.645 billion (12 percent) and China with EUR 0.392 billion (8 percent) were the largest non-EU sources of imports.


Wednesday March 15 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Hits The Highest Level In 7 Months
CSO |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased 0.5 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, following a 0.3 percent rise in the previous month. It is the highest inflation rate since July last year, boosted by prices of transport, restaurants and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services. On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.6 percent after a 0.5 percent decline in January.

Year-on-year, main contributors to the rise were: transport (3.6 percent vs 2.8 percent in January); restaurants and hotels (2.1 percent vs 2 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2.1 percent vs 2 percent). Additional upward pressure came from: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.4 percent vs 1.3 percent) and health (1.7 percent vs 1.3 percent). In contrast, cost continued to fall for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.6 percent vs -2.4 percent), recreation and culture (-2.4 percent vs -2.3 percent) and clothing and footwear (-2.5 percent vs -2.6 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.6 percent, following a 0.5 percent drop in January. The most significant monthly price changes were increases in clothing and footwear (6.4 percent) and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (1.5 percent). There were declines in food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.9 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (-0.8 percent).

The harmonized index increased 0.3 percent compared to a year earlier and rose 0.5 percent in the month.


Thursday March 09 2017
Irish Economy Grows 2.5% In Q4
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's gross domestic product advanced 2.5 percent on quarter in the three months to December 2016, easing from a 4 percent expansion in the previous period. Fixed investment and household consumption were the main drivers of growth while net exports contributed negatively, largely due to a jump in imports.

On the expenditure side, capital investment, which accounts for approximately 35 percent of domestic demand, jumped 85.7 percent (-1.5 percent in Q3); household consumption, which accounts for almost half of domestic demand, advanced 0.7 percent (the same as in Q3); and government expenditure increased 1.4 percent (0.9 percent in Q3). By contrast, net exports declined by 93.7 percent with the import increase (37.2 percent from -5.7 percent in Q3) outpacing the change in exports (4.9 from 2.4 percent in Q3). 

On the output side of the accounts, industry made the most positive contribution to growth, rising by 4.9 percent (3.5 percent in Q3), within which manufacturing recorded a 3 percent increase with building and construction recording a slight decline of 0.3 percent. Increases were also recorded in agriculture (2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in Q3) and public administration and defence (1.6 percent from -1.9 percent in Q3). Distribution, transport, software and communication declined by 1.1 percent (from 5 percent in Q3), while other services decreased by 0.8 percent (from 1.2 percent in Q3).

Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the economy expanded 7.2 percent after growing by 6.2 percent in the previous period.

In 2016 as a whole, the GDP advanced 5.2 percent, slowing from a 26.3 percent growth in 2015. Capital formation rose strongly by 45.5 percent over the previous year; personal consumption rose by 3 percent; and government expenditure exhibited an increase of 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, net exports fell, as import growth of 10.3 percent outpaced that of exports at 2.4 percent. On the production side, building and construction recorded an 11.4 percent increase and manufacturing recorded a 1.8 percent increase. The distribution, transport, software and communications sector increased by 7.8 percent while the agriculture sector increased by 6.2 percent, and other services by 6.0 percent. Public administration and defence recorded an annual increase of 4.4 percent.




Tuesday February 28 2017
Irish Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.6% In February
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in February 2017 from a downwardly revised 6.7 percent in the previous month and 8.4 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest reading since July 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to decline.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 145,100 in February 2017, down from 148,000 when compared to the January 2017 figure and a decrease of 36,200 when compared to February 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 7.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent in January and from 9.9 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.9 percent, down from 6 percent in the previous month and from 6.5 percent in February 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 1,900 from the previous month to 85,900, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 1,000 to 59,200.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 14.5 percent, the lowest reading since July 2008, from 15.1 percent in the previous month.

Unemployment has fallen sharply since the jobless rate hit a high of 15.2 percent in January 2012.