IRELAND’S EXPORTS DROPPED slightly for the second consecutive month to April, according to new figures from the CSO.
The seasonally adjusted figure for exports fell two per cent to €7,530million from €7,718million in March – which was in turn a decrease from February’s three-year high of €8,178million, the latest CSO External Trade statistics show. April’s trade surplus – the amount of exports more than imports – was €2,616million the lowest it has been since December 2009.
However, figures for the first three months of 2011 until March showed that exports grew by nine per cent against the same period in 2010. Ireland exported 18 per cent more medical and pharmaceutical products, and 15 per cent more organic chemicals, between January and March this year.
Government ministers have frequently touted export growth as a potential route out of recession. In February, jobs minister Richard Bruton said they would be “key to our economic recovery”.
Commenting on the latest figures today, Minister Bruton welcomed the year-on-year increase. He added: “Today’s figures show that an export-led recovery is becoming a real possibility.
“However we must not become complacent about our export performance, as aspects of the figures show. I, together with my colleagues across government, am determined to ensure that exports can continue to grow and lead a recovery.”