PRELIMINARY FIGURES for July show that Ireland’s trade surplus grew by 12 per cent in July, to its highest amount for almost a year.
The data published by the Central Statistics Office shows that the excess of exports over imports in July was €3.92 billion, up from €3.48 billion in June.
The increase is largely the result of a surge in exports, which rose by about 6 per cent to close to €7.926 billion – itself the highest level since January, and the second-highest figure in 17 months.
The value of imports, meanwhile, grew by just €14 million to €4.003 billion, which is some €600 million less than in March.
Breaking down the export figures by individual countries, exports to strategically important areas such as the United States, China and Russia were all higher in July 2012 than they were in 2011.
The USA remains Ireland’s largest export partner, with €1.784 billion of exports in July – up by 8.7 per cent compared to 2011 – ahead of Belgium (up by 55 per cent, to €1.301 billion) and Great Britain (up by 13.5 per cent to €1.051 billion).
Welcoming the figures, jobs minister Richard Bruton said Ireland’s strong export performance is continuing.
“This is the latest in a growing list of positive signs in the international environment,” Bruton insisted.
“I am determined to keep improving supports for exporters and reducing costs through continued implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs. In this way we can accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy, keep growing our exports, and create the jobs we need.”