Tuesday February 21 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Rises To 6-Month High
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.3 percent in the year to January 2017, the first rise in six months, after showing no growth in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since July last year, driven by higher cost for transport, restaurants and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services.

Year-on-year, the biggest upwards contribution came from: Transport (2.8 percent from 0.5 percent in December); restaurants and hotels (2 percent from 1.9 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2 percent from 2.2 percent). Additional gains came from: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.3 percent from 0.8 percent in December); and health (1.3 percent from 1.2 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.4 percent from -2.8 percent in December); recreation and culture (-2.3 percent from -2.1 percent); and clothing and footwear (-2.6 percent from -3.8 percent)
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.5 percent, after showing no growth in December. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in clothing and footwear (- 9 percent) and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-3 percent). There were increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (1.5 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent).

The harmonized index increased by 0.2 percent compared to a year earlier and fell by 0.5 percent in the month.




Wednesday February 15 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Narrows 1% MoM In December
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus decreased by 1 percent to €4,018 million in December 2016 from an upwardly revised €4,060 million in the previous month, as exports fell by 6 percent and imports declined by 10 percent, preliminary figures showed.

Seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €646 million, or 6 percent, to €9,608 million compared with November 2016; and imports also decreased, by €604 million, or 10 percent, to €5,590 million, preliminary figures showed.

Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports decreased by €415 million, or 5 percent, to €8,836 million, due to lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-16 percent), and office machinery and automatic data processing machines, including computers (-23 percent). Meanwhile, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances rose 143 percent.

The EU accounted for €4,616 million, or 52 percent, of total goods exports, of which €1,060 million went to the UK and €1,037 million to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,109 million, or 24 percent, of total exports in December 2016. Exports to the EU increased by €36 million, or 1 percent, while exports to the rest of the world decreased by €450 million, or 10 percent. 

Meanwhile, imports went down by €1,449 million, or 21 percent, to €5,545 million compared with December 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of road vehicles (-10 percent), organic chemicals (-43 percent) and medical and pharmaceutical products (-25 percent).

The EU accounted for €3,629, or 65 percent, of the value of goods imports, with €1,421 million, or 26 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. The US with €593 million, or 11 percent, and China with €402 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. Imports from the EU decreased by €864 million, or 19 percent and imports from the rest of the world also decreased by €585 million, or 23 percent.

In 2016, the trade surplus widened sharply to €47.3 billion from €42.3 billion in 2015. Exports jumped 4 percent to a record high of €116.9 billion, mainly boosted by sales of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (150 percent) and organic chemicals (10 percent). Among major trading partners, exports to the UK decreased by 4 percent and those to EU countries fell 0.3 percent while sales to the US and to the rest of the world rose by 12 percent and by 9 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, imports shrank 0.7 percent to €69.6 billion, dragged by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (-27 percent) and machinery specialised for particular industries (-48 percent). Imports from the UK decreased by 8 percent and those from EU countries and from the rest of the world dropped by 1 percent each.




Tuesday January 31 2017
Irish Unemployment Rate Drops To Fresh 8-1/2-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent in January 2017 from 7.2 percent in the previous month and from 8.5 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest reading since August 2008, as the number of unemployed declined further.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 154,800 in January 2017, down from 157,700 when compared to the December 2016 figure and a decrease of 29,800 when compared to January 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in December and from 10.2 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent from the previous month and from 6.6 percent in January 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,400 from the previous month to 94,700, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 500 to 60,100.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 13.5 percent, the lowest reading since June 2008, from 14.4 percent in the previous month.

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




Thursday January 19 2017
Irish Consumer Prices Unchanged In December
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices remained unchanged in the year to December 2016, following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous month, as a decline in prices of food, furnishings and clothing was enough to offset a rise in cost of restaurants and hotels, miscellaneous goods and services, and housing.

Year-on-year, the biggest downward pressure came from: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.8 percent from -2.4 percent in November); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-4.8 percent from -4.3 percent); and clothing and footwear (-3.8 percent from -2.8 percent).By contrast, cost increased for: Restaurants and hotels (+1.9 percent, the same as in November); miscellaneous goods and services (+2.2 percent from +2.5 percent); and housing and utilities (+0.8 percent from +0.2 percent).
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were also unchanged, following five consecutive months of falls. The most significant changes were decreases in restaurants and hotels (-0.7 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.4 percent). There were increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.9 percent) and clothing and footwear (+0.7 percent). 

In the full year 2016, the average CPI showed no growth, following a 0.3 percent drop in 2015.

In December, the harmonized index decreased by 0.2 percent compared to a year earlier and by 0.1 percent in the month.


Tuesday January 17 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Falls From Record High As Imports Jump
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus decreased by 20 percent to €4,045 million in November 2016 from a downwardly revised record high of €5,040 million in the previous month, as imports jumped by 18 percent while exports fell by 1 percent, preliminary figures showed.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports increased by €938 million, or 18 percent, to €6,153 million from the previous month; while exports decreased by €57 million, or 1 percent, to €10,197 million, preliminary figures showed.

Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports increased by €783 million, or 8 percent, to €10,961 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (+28 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (+152 percent) and food and live animals (+6 percent). 

The EU accounted for €5,471 million, or 50 percent, of total goods exports, of which €1,592 million went to the UK and €1,272 million to Belgium. Exports to the EU increased by 2 percent year-on-year, while non-EU exports increased by 14 percent over the same period. The USA was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,893 million, or 26 percent, of total exports. 

Meanwhile, imports rose by €305 million, or 5 percent, to €6,501 million compared with November 2015, mainly due to higher purchases of medical and pharmaceutical products (+82 percent) and petroleum (+41 percent). By contrast, imports of road vehicles dropped 15 percent.

The EU accounted for €3,580 million, or 55 percent, of the value of goods imports, with €1,404 million, or 22 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. Imports from the EU decreased by 6 percent year-on-year, while non-EU imports increased by 23 percent over the same period. The USA with €1,336 million, or 21 percent, and China with €441 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

In the first eleven months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €44.0 billion from €40.0 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 5 percent to €107.9 billion while imports rose 1 percent to €63.9 billion.


Wednesday January 04 2017
Irish Jobless Rate Drops To 7.2% In December
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent in December 2016 from 7.3 percent in November and from 8.9 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest figure since August 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to fall.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 157,700 in December 2016, down 2,800 when compared to the November 2016 figure and a decrease of 35,500 when compared to December 2015. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 8.1 percent, down from 8.4 percent in November and down from 10.6 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 6.1 percent, unchanged from the previous month and down from 6.9 percent in December 2015. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,700 to 97,100 from the previous month, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 100 to 60,600.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 14.5 percent, the lowest reading since July 2008, from 15.4 percent in the previous month.

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


Thursday December 15 2016
Irish Trade Surplus Widens To Record High In October
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by 34 percent to €5,091 million in October 2016 compared to an upwardly revised €3,803 million the previous month. It was the biggest surplus recorded so far, as exports rose by 2 percent while imports fell by 18 percent, preliminary figures showed.

Seasonally adjusted exports increased €192 million, or 2 percent, to €10,267 million compared with September's reading of €10,075 million; while imports decreased by €1,096 million, or 18 percent, to €5,176 million from €6,272 million, preliminary figures showed.

Year-on-year, the non-seasonally adjusted value of exports decreased €644 million, or 6 percent, to €10,111 million, due to lower sales of organic chemicals (-15 percent), and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus (-12 percent). By contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances increased by 159 percent. 

The EU accounted for €4,796 million (48 percent) of total goods exports, of which €1,332 million went to Belgium and €1,019 million to the UK. Exports to the EU decreased by 9 percent in October 2016 compared with October 2015, while non-EU exports decreased by 3 percent over the same period. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,759 million (27 percent) of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports dropped by €1,241 million, or 20 percent, to €5,095 million compared with October 2015, mainly due to lower purchases of medical and pharmaceutical products (-19 percent), machinery specialised for particular industries (-51 percent) and petroleum (-20 percent). 

The EU accounted for €3,303 (65 percent) of the value of goods imports, with €1,314 million (26 percent) of total imports coming from the UK. Imports from the EU decreased by €573 million (-15 percent) in October 2016 compared with October 2015.  Non-EU imports decreased by €669 million (-27 percent) over the same period. The US with €658 million (13 percent) and China with €394 million (8 percent) were the main non-EU sources of imports.

In the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €39.6 billion from €36.1 billion in the same period of 2015, as exports advanced 4 percent to €96.9 billion while imports rose 1 percent to €57.3 billion.


Friday December 09 2016
Irish GDP Expands 4% in Q3, Beats Forecast
CSO | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

The Irish economy expanded 4 percent on the quarter in the third quarter of 2016, following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent growth in the previous period and well above market expectations of 1.2 percent. The growth was mainly driven by net exports as imports shrank. Also, the government and consumption spending increased while investments contracted. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the economy expanded 6.9 percent after growing by a downwardly revised 3.1 percent in the previous period.

On the expenditure side, net trade increased 47 percent, as exports went up 1.7 percent (-0.9 percent in Q2) while imports shrank 8.6 percent (+10.6 percent). Also, the government spending rose 0.8 percent (+0.7 percent in Q2). Meanwhile, personal consumption grew at a slower 0.7 percent (+1.9 percent in Q2) and investments contracted 17.8 percent (+36.9 percent in Q2).

On the output side of the accounts, value added for all sectors increased in the quarter with the exception of public administration and defense which declined by 2.6 percent (+1.5 percent in Q2). There was an increase of 5.3 percent in distribution, transport, software and communications sector (+2.8 percent in Q2). The building and construction sector grew by 4.3 percent (+5.7 percent in Q2) with the manufacturing sector increasing by 4 percent (+1.6 percent in Q1). The other services sector rose 1.5 percent (the same pace as in Q2) and the agriculture went up 0.7 percent (-0.3 percent in Q2). 

Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the economy expanded 6.9 percent after growing by a downwardly revised 3.1 percent in the previous period.




Thursday December 08 2016
Irish Deflation Eases In November
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in the year to November 2016, slowing from a 0.3 percent drop in the previous month, as prices fell at a slower pace for transport and leisure activities.

Year-on-year, cost declined at a slower pace for transport (-0.2 percent from -2 percent in October), and recreation and culture (-2 percent from -2.4 percent). Additional downward pressure came from: Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-4.3 percent); clothing and footwear (-2.8 percent); communications (-2.7 percent); and food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.4 percent). By contrast, there were increases in miscellaneous goods and services (+2.5 percent), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+2.1 percent), restaurants and hotels (+1.9 percent) and education (+1.8 percent). 
 
Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, rose to 0.3 percent from 0.1 percent the previous period.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent, following a 0.5 percent decrease in October. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in restaurants and hotels (-0.7 percent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.4 percent). There were increases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.9 percent) and clothing and footwear (+0.7 percent). 

The harmonized index decreased by 0.2 percent compared to a year earlier and fell 0.1 percent in the month.


Tuesday November 29 2016
Irish Jobless Rate Falls To Lowest Since September 2008
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in November 2016 from 7.5 percent in October and from 9.1 percent the same month a year earlier. It was the lowest figure since September 2008, as the number of unemployed fell further. Youth unemployment rate also declined to 15.5 percent, the lowest since August 2008.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 160,700 in November 2016, down 3,400 when compared to the October 2016 figure and a decrease of 36,200 when compared to November 2015. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded to 8.3 percent, down from 8.6 percent in October and from 10.7 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 6.1 percent, down from 6.2 percent in the previous month and from 7.1 percent in November 2015. The number of males unemployed dropped by 3,400 to 99,600 from the previous month, while the number of females unemployed increased by 100 to 61,100.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 15.5 percent, the lowest reading since August 2008, from 16.4 percent in the previous month.