Monday September 16 2019
Irish Trade Surplus Widens Sharply as Exports Jump
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's trade surplus widened to EUR 5.90 billion in July 2019 from EUR 3.36 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year.

Exports jumped 19 percent from a year earlier to EUR 13.18 billion in July, boosted by sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (18 percent), organic chemicals (35 percent), electrical machinery and equipment (70 percent), and office machinery and automatic data processing machines (49 percent).

The EU accounted for EUR 6.52 billion, or 50 percent, of total goods exports of which EUR 1.45 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.37 billion was exported to Germany. Total EU exports increased by EUR 895 million, or 16 percent, compared with July 2018. Exports to Great Britain decreased by EUR 66 million, or 6 percent, to EUR 1.11 billion. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 4.05 billion, or 31 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports were down 6 percent to EUR 7.27 billion, led by lower purchases of medical and pharmaceutical products (-52 percent) and other transport equipment, including aircraft (-18 percent); while imports of petroleum rose 31 percent, and those of road vehicles increased 19 percent.

The EU accounted for EUR 4.08 billion, or 56 percent, of total goods imports, which is a decrease of EUR 816 million, or 17 percent, compared with July 2018. Imports from Great Britain, which accounted for 21 percent of the value of total imports, were up by EUR 51 million, or 3 percent, to EUR 1.53 billion in July. The US with EUR 1.30 billion, or 18 percent, and China with EUR 512 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Considering January to July, the trade surplus widened to EUR 39.43 billion from EUR 30.81 billion in the same period of 2018.




Friday September 13 2019
Irish GDP Growth Rate Eases in Q2
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Irish economy grew by 0.7 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2019, easing from a revised 2.7 percent expansion in the previous period. Household consumption increased at a faster pace and fixed investment rose the most for two years, while net external demand contributed negatively to the GDP due to a jump in imports.

On the expenditure side of the accounts, household consumption rose 0.8 percent in the second quarter, following a 0.6 percent increase in the previous three-month period; and fixed investment jumped 182 percent, the largest gain since the second quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, net trade contributed negatively to GDP growth, as imports climbed 43 percent (vs -2 percent in Q1) and exports rose at a slower 2.6 percent (vs 1.5 percent in Q1).

On the output side, industry led the expansion (5.7 percent vs 1.1 percent) due to manufacturing (5.8 percent vs 1 percent). Output growth was also recorded for agriculture, forestry & fishing (3.9 percent vs 5.2 percent); construction (0.4 percent vs 5 percent); public administration, education & health (1.4 percent vs flat reading); information & communication (8.1 percent vs 10.8 percent); and real estate activities (0.1 percent vs 0.9 percent). In contrast, output fell for distribution, transport, hotels & restaurants (-0.2 percent vs -0.4 percent); financial & insurance activities (-0.2 percent vs 0.8 percent); professional & administrative services (-1.3 percent vs -2.2 percent); and arts, entertainment & other services (-0.3 percent vs -0.7 percent).

Year-on-year, GDP growth slowed to 5.8 percent in the second quarter from 7.4 percent in the previous three-month period.




Thursday September 12 2019
Irish Inflation Rate Rises to 0.7% in August
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's consumer price inflation picked up to 0.7 percent year-on-year in August 2019 from a year low of 0.5 percent in the previous month.

The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.9 percent vs 4.0 percent) mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of gas; restaurants & hotels (2.0 percent vs 2.3 percent) primarily due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc; alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.1 percent vs 3.3 percent) mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products; and miscellaneous goods & services (1.2 percent vs 0.2 percent) primarily due to higher health insurance premiums and higher prices for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments.

By contrast, prices fell for furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-4.0 percent vs -3.8 percent) mainly due to the reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles; communications (-6.3 percent vs -6.8 percent) due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment and telephone & telefax services; clothing & footwear (-1.6 percent, the same as in July) due to sales; and transport (-0.3 percent vs -1.2 percent) due to a reduction in airfares and lower prices for petrol and diesel.

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, picked up to 0.9 percent in August from 0.6 percent in July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in August, reversing a 0.2 percent fall in July, as costs increased for clothing & footwear (5.4 percent), miscellaneous goods & services (0.9 percent), restaurants & hotels (0.4 percent) and health (0.4 percent).

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose 0.6 percent from the previous year (vs 0.5 percent in July); and 0.4 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in July).




Tuesday September 03 2019
Irish Jobless Rate Falls to 5.2% in August
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 5.2 percent in August 2019 from a revised 5.3 percent in the previous month and compared with 5.5 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year. The number of unemployed decreased by 1,800 from the prior month to 126,000.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 126,000 in August, a decline of 1,800 from July's 127,800. When compared to August 2018, there was an annual decrease of 6,400 from 132,400.

The unemployment rate for males was recorded at 5.4 percent, the same as in the prior month and down from 5.6 percent in August 2018; while that for females was 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in July, and down from 5.5 percent in August 2018. The number of males unemployed decreased by 200 from the previous month to 70,000, and that for females fell by 1,700 to 56,000.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 years, youth unemployment rate, was 14.7 percent in August, remaining unchanged from July.




Thursday August 15 2019
Irish Trade Surplus Widens in June
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's trade surplus widened to EUR 4.65 billion in June 2019 from EUR 4.41 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year.

Exports dropped 5 percent from a year earlier to EUR 12.10 billion in June, due to lower sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (-3 percent) and other transport equipment, including aircraft (-82 percent). By contrast, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances jumped 59 percent and those of organic chemicals increased 3 percent.

The EU accounted for EUR 5.93 billion, or 49 percent, of total goods exports of which EUR 1.27 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.09 billion was exported to Germany. Total EU exports in June decreased by EUR 552 million, or 9 percent, compared with June 2018. Exports to Great Britain, which accounted for 9 percent of total exports, decreased by EUR 72 million, or 6 percent, to EUR 1.14 billion. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.49 billion, or 29 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports were down 11 percent to EUR 7.45 billion, led by lower purchases of medical and pharmaceutical products (-54 percent) and other transport equipment, including aircraft (-4 percent); while imports of office machines and automatic data processing machines rose 11 percent.

The EU accounted for EUR 4.50 billion, or 60 percent, of total goods imports, which is a decrease of EUR 707 million, or 14 percent, compared with June 2018. Imports from Great Britain, which accounted for 19 percent of the value of total imports, decreased by EUR 26 million, or 2 percent, to EUR 1.45 billion in June. The US with EUR 1.07 billion, or 14 percent, and China with EUR 356 million, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Considering the first half of the year, the trade surplus widened to EUR 33.82 billion from EUR 27.46 billion in the same period of 2018.


Thursday August 08 2019
Irish Inflation Rate at Over 1-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's annual inflation rate dropped to 0.5 percent in July 2019, its lowest level since June 2018, from 1.1 percent in the previous month.

The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (up 4.0 percent, the same as in June), mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of electricity and gas; restaurants & hotels (2.3 percent vs 3.1 percent), primarily due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. which was partially offset by lower prices for hotel accommodation; and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (2.5 percent vs 3.3 percent), mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products.

By contrast, prices fell for communications (-6.8 percent vs -6.6 percent), due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment and telephone & telefax services; transport (-1.2 percent vs 1.2 percent), primarily due to lower prices for petrol and diesel and a reduction in airfares; furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-3.8 percent vs -3.5 percent), due to the reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles; and clothing & footwear (-1.6 percent vs -1.0 percent), due to sales.

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, slowed to 0.6 percent in July from 1.1 percent in June.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in July, reversing a 0.2 percent advance in June, as costs fell for clothing & footwear (-6.2 percent), furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-1.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-0.4 percent).

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose 0.5 percent from the previous year (vs 1.1 percent in June); but fell 0.2 percent month-over-month (vs 0.2 percent in June).


Tuesday July 30 2019
Irish Jobless Rate Rises to 3-Month High of 4.6% in July
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent in July of 2019 from 4.5 percent in the previous month and compared with 5.8 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year. It was the highest jobless rate since April, as unemployed persons increased by 1,200 from the prior month to 111,400.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 111,400 in July 2019, up from an upwardly revised 110,200 in June and a decrease of 25,900 when compared to July 2018.  

The unemployment rate for males was recorded at 4.7 percent, the same as in the prior month and down from 5.8 percent in July 2018 while for females it was 4.3 percent in July 2019, remaining unchanged from June 2019, and down from 5.7 percent in July 2018. The seasonally adjusted number of males unemployed increased by 600 from the previous month to 62,000 and that for females rose also by 600 to 49,400. 

The youth unemployment rate went up to 10.3 percent in July from 10.1 percent in the previous month.


Monday July 15 2019
Irish Trade Surplus at Near Record High
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's trade surplus widened to EUR 6.72 billion in May 2019 from EUR 4.89 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year, remaining close to January's all-time high.

Exports grew 14 percent from a year earlier to EUR 13.52 billion in May, boosted by sales of organic chemicals (98 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (86 percent), and professional, scientific and controlling apparatus (23 percent). By contrast, exports of medical and pharmaceutical products slumped 19 percent.

The EU accounted for EUR 6.79 billion, or 50 percent, of total goods exports in May of which EUR 1.52 billion went to Germany and EUR 1.43 billion was exported to Belgium. Total EU exports in May rose EUR 1.03 billion, or 18 percent from a year earlier, with exports to Great Britain increasing EUR 52 million, or 4 percent, to EUR 1.25 billion. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 3.73 billion, or 28 percent, of total exports in May.

Meanwhile, imports were down 2 percent to EUR 6.80 billion, mainly due to lower purchases of other transport equipment, including aircraft (-37 percent); while gains were reported in imports of office machines and automatic data processing machines (60 percent) and organic chemicals (83 percent).

The EU accounted for EUR 4.33 billion, or 64 percent, of total goods imports in May, which is an increase of EUR 48 million, or 1 percent, compared with May 2018. Imports from Great Britain decreased EUR 65 million, or 4 percent, to EUR 1.48 billion. Imports from Great Britain were 22 percent of the value of total imports in May. The US with EUR 696 million, or 10 percent, and China with EUR 406 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

Considering the first five months of the year, the trade surplus widened sharply to EUR 29.64 billion from EUR 23.04 billion in the same period of 2018.


Thursday July 11 2019
Irish GDP Grows the Most in a Year
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The Irish economy expanded 2.4 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2019, accelerating from an upwardly revised 0.3 percent advance in the previous period. It was the highest growth rate since the last quarter of 2017.

On the expenditure side of the accounts, household consumption rose 0.9 percent in the first quarter, following a 0.3 percent increase in the previous three-month period; and government expenditure went up 0.5 percent, after showing no growth in the prior period while fixed investment slumped 24.9 percent (vs 12.5 percent). Meanwhile, net trade contributed positively to the GDP growth, as exports climbed 1 percent (vs 4.6 percent in Q4) and exports decreased 2.8 percent (vs 5.6 percent in Q4).

On the output side, information and communication made the most positive contribution to the Q1 result, rising by 11.5 percent, up from a 0.1 percent gain previous period. Increases were also recorded in agriculture (5 percent vs 9.5 percent); construction (5.6 percent vs -1.7 percent); financial and insurance activities (0.8 percent vs 2.3 percent) and real estate (0.9 percent vs 0.4 percent). Industrial production recorded a small increase (0.4 percent vs -3.2 percent), within which manufacturing recorded a 0.3 percent gain (vs -3.5 percent in Q4). By contrast, professional, admin and support services decreased 4.8 percent (vs 3.4 percent in Q4) while public admin, education and health decreased 0.7 percent (vs 0.6 percent in Q4). Distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants recorded a slight decrease of 0.1 percent (vs 0.3 percent in Q4).

Year-on-year, the GDP growth advanced to 6.3 percent in the first quarter from 3.6 percent in the previous three-month period. Considering 2018 full year, the Irish economy expanded 8.2 percent, faster than 8.1 percent in 2017.


Wednesday July 10 2019
Irish Inflation Rate Rises to 1.1% in June
CSO | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland's annual inflation rate picked up to 1.1 percent in June of 2019 from a three-month low of 1 percent in the previous month, mainly boosted by increases in prices of housing & utilities, alcoholic beverages & tobacco, restaurants & hotels and education.

The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from  housing & utilities (4.0 percent vs 4.4 percent in May) mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of electricity and gas, which was partially offset by a reduction in the price of home heating oil; alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.3 percent vs 2.7 percent), amid higher prices for tobacco products; restaurants & hotels (3.1 percent vs 3.2 percent), due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc., which was partially offset by lower prices for hotel accommodation; and education (1.7 percent, the same as in May).  

On the other hand, prices fell for communications (-6.6 percent vs -6.1 percent), due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment and telephone & telefax services; furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-3.5 percent vs -3.9 percent), on the back of a reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles; clothing & footwear (-1.0 percent vs -1.3 percent) mainly due to sales; and miscellaneous goods & services (-0.6 percent vs -0.8 percebt) due to a reduction in prices for appliances, articles & products for personal care and other personal effects and lower motor insurance premiums. This reduction was partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing salons & personal grooming establishments and childcare services.

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, picked up to 1.1 percent in June from 0.6 percent in May.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, after a 0.1 percent drop in May. The largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were transport (+0.23 percent), restaurants & hotels (+0.14 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+0.05 percent) while the divisions which caused the largest downward contribution were clothing & footwear (-0.10 percent), food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.04 percent) and communications (-0.02 percent).

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose by 1.1 percent from the previous year (vs 1 percent in May); and increased by 0.2 percent from the previous month (vs -0.1 percent in May).