Tuesday April 16 2019
Irish Trade Surplus Remains Close to Record High
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's trade surplus widened to EUR 6.26 billion in February 2019, the second-largest on record, from EUR 3.98 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year. Exports climbed 21 percent while imports dropped 1 percent.

Exports jumped 21 percent from a year earlier to EUR 12.61 billion in February, boosted by sales of organic chemicals (68 percent), medical and pharmaceutical products (9 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (32 percent), and office machinery and automatic data processing machines (35 percent).

The EU accounted for EUR 63.10 billion, or 48 percent, of total goods exports of which EUR 1.63 billion went to Belgium and EUR 0.94 billion went to Germany. Exports to the EU advanced 12 percent year-on-year and those to Great Britain increased 16 percent to EUR 1.22 billion, accounting for 10 percent of total exports. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.72 billion, or 29 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports fell 1 percent from a year earlier to EUR 6.36 billion, mainly due to lower purchases of other transport equipment, including aircraft (-20 percent), and medical and pharmaceutical products (-37 percent); while imports of food and live animals rose 14 percent.

The EU accounted for EUR 3.98 billion, or 63 percent, of total goods imports, which was a decrease of 2 percent compared with February 2018. Meanwhile, imports from Great Britain increased 19 percent to EUR 1.64 billion compared with February 2018. The main increases were in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and machinery and transport equipment. Imports from Great Britain were 26 percent of the value of total imports. The US with EUR 1.02 billion, or 16 percent, and China with EUR 0.34 billion, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Considering the first two months of the year, the trade surplus widened sharply to EUR 13.23 billion from EUR 9.55 billion in the same period of 2018.




Thursday April 11 2019
Irish March Inflation Rate at 6-Year High of 1.1%
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Ireland increased to 1.1 percent in March of 2019 from 0.6 percent in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since February of 2013.

The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing & utilities (4.3 percent from 4 percent in February), mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of gas, electricity and home heating oil; restaurants & hotels (3.6 percent, the same as in February) due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. and an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation; alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.1 percent from 2.7 percent)  mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products and education (1.7 percent, the same as in February).

On the other hand, prices fell for: furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-3.2 percent from -3.7 percent) due to the reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles, communications (-2.9 percent from -1.9 percent) due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment, clothing & footwear (-1.7 percent, the same as in February) and miscellaneous goods & services (-1 percent from -1.7 percent) mainly due to lower motor insurance premiums and a reduction in prices for appliances, articles & products for personal care and other personal effects. This reduction was partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing salons & personal grooming establishments.

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, went up to 0.9 percent in March from 0.6 percent in February. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.8 percent, the same as in the previous month. The largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were transport (+0.45%), restaurants & hotels (+0.16%) and housing & utilities (+0.10%) while the divisions which caused the largest downward contribution in the month were communications (-0.03%) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-0.02%). 

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 1.1 percent from the previous year; and increased by 0.8 percent from the previous month. 




Tuesday April 02 2019
Irish Jobless Rate at Over 11-Year Low of 5.4%
CSO | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in March 2019 from 5.6 percent in the prior month. It is the lowest jobless rate since February 2008, as unemployed persons declined by 3,400 to 131,300.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 131,300 in March of 2019, down from a downwardly revised 134,700 in February and a decrease of 6,200 when compared to March 2018.

The unemployment rate for males was recorded at 5.4 percent, down from a downwardly revised 5.5 percent in February and compared to 5.9 percent a year earlier; while for females it dropped to 5.5 percent from 5.6 percent in Februay and compared with 5.7 percent in March 2018. The number of males unemployed declined by 1,700 from the previous month to 70,500 and the of females decreases by 1,700 to 60,800.

The youth unemployment rate went down to 13.4 percent in March from 13.8 percent in the previous month.




Friday March 15 2019
Irish Trade Surplus Rises 25.6% YoY in January
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland’s trade surplus widened to EUR 6.99 billion in January of 2019 from EUR 5.57 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year. Exports surged 12.2 percent from a year earlier to a record-high of EUR 13.58 billion and imports went up at a much softer 0.8 percent to EUR 6.59 billion.

Exports advanced 12.2 percent year-on-year to an all-time high of EUR 13.58 billion in January of 2019, boosted by higher sales of of chemicals and related products (12.8 percent), led by organic chemicals (44.9 percent); and machinery and transport equipment (22.1 percent), mainly due to electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts (30.2 percent). In addition, shipment rose for food and live animals (4.6 percent); manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (5.1 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (163.3 percent) and crude materials, inedible, except fuels (10.7 percent). 

Shipments to the EU grew 26.5 percent to EUR 7.07 billion, representing 52.1 percent of total exports, of which EUR 2.22 went to Belgium and EUR 1.16 billion to Great Britain. The US was the largest non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.79 billion, or 27.9 percent of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports edged up 0.8 percent from a year earlier to EUR 6.58 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of machinery and transport equipment (15.6 percent), particularly other transport equipment including aircraft (31.1 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (9.3 percent) and mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (21.7 percent). On the other hand, imports fell for chemicals and related products (-27.9 percent), dragged down by medical and pharmaceutical products (-48.2 percent); and food and live animals (-1.7 percent).

Imports from the EU rose 8 percent to EUR 4.0.4 billion in January, accounting for 61.3 percent of total goods purchases. Also, imports from Great Britain went up 12.2 percent to EUR 1.6 billion and those from France increased 103.4 percent to EUR 0.76 billion. The US with EUR 0.95 billion, or 14.5 percent, and China with EUR 0.47 billion, or 7.1 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.


Thursday March 14 2019
Irish February Inflation Rate Slows to 3-Month Low of 0.6%
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Annual inflation rate in Ireland decreased to 0.6 percent in February of 2019 from 0.7 percent in each of the previous two months. It was the lowest inflation rate since November, as cost slowed for housing & utilities and restaurant & hotels.

Year-on-year, inflation softened for housing and utilities (4 percent from 4.4 percent in January); restaurant and hotels (3.6 percent from 3.7 percent) and health (0.8 percent from 1 percent). In addition, prices continued to drop for transport (-1.3 percent, the same as in January); food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.7 percent from -1.5 percent); recreation and culture (-0.3 percent from a flat reading); clothing and footwear (-1.7 percent from -1.5 percent); communication (-1.9 percent from -0.9 percent) and furnishings household equipment and routine household maintenance (-3.7 percent from -3.3 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.7 percent, the same as in January). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, went down to 0.6 percent in February from 0.8 percent in January. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.8 percent, after a 0.7 percent fall in January. the largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were clothing & footwear (+0.28%), transport (+0.25%) and restaurants & hotels (+0.15%).  The divisions which caused the largest downward contribution in the month were alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-0.04%) and communications (-0.03%). 

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 0.7 percent from the previous year; and increased by 0.8 percent from the previous month. 


Thursday March 14 2019
Irish GDP Barely Grows in Q4
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Irish economy grew by 0.1 percent on quarter in the final three months of 2018, slowing sharply from a 0.9 percent expansion in the previous period, as solid increases in private consumption and fixed investment were partially offset by a negative contribution from net exports.

On the expenditure side of the accounts, household consumption rose 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, following a 0.9 percent increase in the previous three-month period; and fixed investment advanced 10.1 percent, easing from a 25.2 percent jump in Q3. Meanwhile, net trade contributed negatively to the GDP growth, as imports climbed 9 percent (vs 10.6 percent in Q3) and exports increased at a slower 5.3 percent (vs 1.3 percent in Q3).

On the output side, financial and insurance activities made the most positive contribution to the Q4 result, rising by 3.1 percent, the same pace as in the previous period. Increases were also recorded in professional, admin and support services (3 percent vs 1.8 percent), public admin, education and health (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent) and agriculture (0.9 percent vs -3.2 percent). Information and communication recorded a small increase (0.1 percent vs 0.5 percent). By contrast, construction output decreased 2.4 percent (vs 2.9 percent in Q3) while industrial production decreased 2 percent (vs 3.2 percent in Q3), within which manufacturing recorded a 1.8 percent contraction (vs 3.4 percent in Q3). Distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants recorded a slight decrease of 0.5 percent (vs 0.8 percent in Q3).

Year-on-year, the GDP growth slowed to a near two-year low of 3 percent in the fourth quarter from 5.4 percent in the previous three-month period. Considering 2018 full year, the Irish economy expanded 6.7 percent, slower than 7.2 percent in 2017.




Tuesday March 05 2019
Irish Jobless Rate Falls to 5.6% in February
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.6 percent in February of 2019 from an upwardly revised 5.7 percent in the previous month, as unemployed persons fell by 1,700 to 135,100.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 135,100 in February of 2019, down from 136,800 in January and a decrease of 1,600 when compared to February of 2018. 

The unemployment rate for males was recorded at 5.6 percent, the same as in the previous month and compared to 5.9 percent a year earlier; while for females it decreased to 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent in January and compared with 5.7 percent in February of 2018. The number of males unemployed declined by 700 from the previous month to 72,600 and the number of females dropped by 1,000 to 62,500.

The youth unemployment rate went down to 13.8 percent in February from 13.9 percent in the prior month. 


Friday February 15 2019
Irish Trade Surplus Widens in December
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland’s trade surplus rose to EUR 3.60 billion in December of 2018 from EUR 3.05 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year. Exports jumped 21.5 percent from a year earlier to EUR 12.21 billion and imports climbed 23 percent to EUR 8.61 billion.

Exports jumped 21.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 12.21 billion in December of 2018, boosted by higher sales of chemicals and related products (24.1 percent), led by medical and pharmaceutical products (21.3 percent) and organic chemicals (43.7 percent). In addition, exports rose for machinery and transport equipment (36.6 percent), mainly due to electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances nes and parts (28 percent); and miscellaneous manufactured articles (4 percent), particularly miscellaneous manufactured articles nes (4.1 percent) and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus nes (6.9 percent).

Shipments to the EU grew 15.4 percent to EUR 6.45 billion, representing 52.8 percent of total exports, of which EUR 1.96 went to Belgium and EUR 1.37 billion to Great Britain. The US was the largest non-EU destination accounting for EUR 2.51 billion, or 20.6 percent of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports advanced 22.9 percent to EUR 8.61 billion, mainly due to higher purchases machinery and transport equipment (60 percent), of which other transport equipment, including aircraft (109.1 percent). Also, imports went up for food, beverages and tobacco (20.7 percent); crude materials, inedible, except fuels (18.2 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (25 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (4.6 percent); while import of chemicals and related products (-26.1 percent) declined. 

Imports from the EU rose 10 percent to EUR 4.71 billion in December, accounting for 54.7 percent of total goods purchases. Also, imports from Great Britain went up 4.1 percent to EUR 1.7 billion and those from France increased 20.7 percent to EUR 1.3 billion. The US with EUR 1.43 billion, or 16.6 percent, and China with EUR 0.5 billion, or 5.6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Considering 2018, the trade surplus widened to EUR 50.66 billion from EUR 43.44 billion in 2017, as sales grew 14.8 percent to EUR 140.8 billion and imports went up at a softer 13.8 percent to EUR 79.27 billion. 


Thursday February 14 2019
Irish Inflation Rate Unchanged at 0.7% in January
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland’s annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in January of 2019, the same as in the previous month.

The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing and utilities (4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in December), mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of electricity and gas; restaurants and hotels (3.7 percent from 2.1 percent), on the back of higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. and an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation; alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.7 percent from 2.8 percent) and education (1.7 percent, the same as in December). 

On the other hand, prices fell for: furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-3.3 percent from -3.5 percent), primarily due to the reduced cost of non-durable household goods, furniture & furnishings, household textiles and glassware, tableware & household utensils; miscellaneous goods and services (-1.8 percent from -2.4 percent), as lower health and motor insurance premiums and a reduction in prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care were partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments and house insurance premiums; food and non-alcoholic beverages (-1.5 percent from -1.4 percent), due to lower prices across a range of products such as meat, bread & cereals, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionery and fruit; and clothing and footwear (-1.5 percent from -0.4 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, picked up to 0.8 percent in January from 0.3 percent in December. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.7 percent, after showing no growth in December. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in clothing & footwear (-9.2 percent), transport (-3.1 percent) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-2.0 percent). Increases were seen in alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+3.2 percent) and communications (+1.5 percent).

The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 0.8 percent from the previous year; and fell by 0.7 percent from the previous month.


Tuesday February 05 2019
Irish Jobless Rate Unchanged at Near 11-Year Low of 5.3%
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 5.3 percent in January of 2019, unchanged from the previous month and remaining the lowest jobless rate since February of 2008.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 127,300 in January of 2019, down from 127,900 when compared to December of 2018 figure and a decrease of 13,400 when compared to January of 2018. 

The unemployment rate for males was recorded at 5.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent in December and compared to 6.1 percent a year earlier; while for females it remained unchanged at 5.4 percent, the same as in the previous month and compared with 5.8 percent in January of 2017. The number of males unemployed declined by 1,000 from the previous month to 57,600 and the number of females increased by 300 to 59,700.

The youth unemployment rate rose to 12.4 percent in January from 12.2 percent in the prior month. It was the highest jobless rate since October of 2018.

Unemployment has fallen sharply since the jobless rate hit a high of 16 percent in early 2012.