Friday June 16 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Narrows In April
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish trade surplus narrowed 13.2 percent to EUR 3,855 million in April 2017 from EUR 4,442 million in the same month of the previous year, as exports decreased by 4 percent, due to lower sales of organic chemicals. Meanwhile, imports went up 4 percent, boosted by higher purchases of chemicals and related products, and office machines and automatic data processing machines.

Year-on-year, exports decreased by €363 million, or 4 percent, to €9,558 million, due to lower sales of organic chemicals (-16 percent); while exports of medical and pharmaceutical products grew by 18 percent.

The EU accounted for €4,709 million, or 49 percent, of total goods exports in April 2017, a decrease of €364 million, or 7 percent, compared with April 2016. Exports to Germany were €781 million and to Belgium were €711 million. Meanwhile, exports to the UK increased by €347 million, or 33 percent, to €1,385 million, boosted by exports of chemicals and related products. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,564 million, or 27 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports rose by €223 million, or 4 percent, to €5,703 million compared with April 2016, mainly due to higher purchases of chemicals and related products (43 percent) and office machines and automatic data processing machines (20 percent). By contrast, imports of road vehicles decreased by 24 percent.

The EU accounted for €3,506 million, or 62 percent, of the value of goods imports in April 2017, an increase of €275 million, or 9 percent, compared with April 2016. Imports from the UK increased by €119 million, or 10 percent, to €1,358 million, due to higher purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, and chemicals and related products. The US with €1,135 million, or 20 percent, and China with €336 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries in April 2017 was €2,197 million, a decrease of €52 million, or 2 percent, compared with April 2016.

In the first four months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €17.1 billion from €14.5 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 10 percent to €41.0 billion and imports rose at a slower 6 percent to €23.9 billion.




Thursday June 08 2017
Ireland Inflation Rate Slows To 5-Month Low In May
Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent in the year to May 2017 after rising by 0.9 percent in the previous month. It was the lowest inflation rate since December last year, as cost rose at a slower pace for transport, and restaurants and hotels.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for: Transport (2.2 percent from 7.2 percent in April); restaurants and hotels (1.8 percent from 2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.5 percent from 1 percent); and miscellaneous goods and services (0.2 percent from 1.7 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.2 percent from -2.7 percent in April); recreation and culture (-1.7 percent from -2 percent); clothing and footwear (-5.4 percent from -4.3 percent); and furnishings and household equipment (-3.9 percent from -4.9 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, fell to a flat reading from 0.7 percent in April.
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent, following a 0.4 percent rise in the previous month. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in transport (-3.5 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (-0.3 percent). There were increases in communications (1.5 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (1.4 percent).

The harmonized index showed no growth compared to a year earlier and fell by 0.2 percent in the month.




Tuesday May 30 2017
Irish Unemployment Rate Steady At Near 9-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came in at 6.4 percent in May 2017, unchanged from the previous month's rate and down from 8.4 percent in the same month of the previous year. The jobless rate remained at the lowest level since June 2008, as the number of unemployed was almost flat at 140.7 thousand.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 140,700 in May 2017, down from 141,900 when compared to the April 2017 figure and a decrease of 42,800 when compared to May 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 7.1 percent, down from 7.2 percent in April and from 9.6 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.5 percent, down from 5.6 percent in the previous month and from 6.9 percent in May 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 200 from the previous month to 85,900, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 1,000 to 54,800.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 11.7 percent from 12 percent in the previous month.

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




Tuesday May 16 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Widens To Record High In March
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased by 12 percent to a record high of €5,051 million in March 2017 from a downwardly revised €4,494 million in the previous month, as exports fell by 4 percent while imports dropped at a faster 16 percent, preliminary figures showed. Meanwhile, the non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 59.1 percent year-on-year to €5,247 million, as exports increased by 10 percent, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products, while imports went down 15 percent.

Seasonally adjusted goods exports decreased by €426 million, or 4 percent, to €10,150 in March 2017 from the previous month; and imports decreased by €983 million, or 16 percent, to €5,099 million, preliminary figures showed.

The non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 59.1 percent year-on-year to €5,247 million, as exports increased by €958 million, or 10 percent, to €11,062 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (30 percent), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (60 percent), and food and live animals (14 percent).

The EU accounted for €5,453 million, or 49 percent, of total goods exports in March 2017, an increase of €450 million, or 9 percent, compared with March 2016. The biggest EU destination for exports was Belgium, which accounted for €1,388 million. Exports to the UK decreased by €9 million, or 1 percent, to €1,129 million, due to a decrease in the exports of machinery and transport equipment. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,978 million, or 27 percent, of total exports in March 2017. Exports to Non-EU countries increased by €508 million, or 10 percent, to €5,609 million.

Meanwhile, imports declined by €992 million, or 15 percent, to €5,815 million compared with March 2016, mainly due to lower purchases of road vehicles (-17 percent). By contrast, imports of petroleum increased by 65 percent and those of chemicals and related products rose by 18 percent.

The EU accounted for €3,737 million, or 64 percent, of the value of goods imports in March 2017, a decrease of €234 million, or 6 percent, compared with March 2016. Imports from the UK increased by €76 million, or 6 percent, to €1,371 million, boosted by imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. The US with €774 million, or 13 percent, and China with €354 million, or 6 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries in March 2017 was €2,078 million, a decrease of €758 million, or 27 percent, compared with March 2016.

In the first quarter of the year, the trade surplus increased to €13.3 billion from €10.1 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 11 percent to €30.2 billion while imports fell 2 percent to €16.9 billion.


Thursday May 11 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Rises To 4-Year High In April
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.9 percent in the year to April 2017 after rising by 0.7 percent in the previous month and beating market consensus of a 0.3 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since February 2013, mainly driven by higher cost of transport.

Year-on-year, the biggest upwards contribution came from: Transport (7.2 percent from 5.3 percent in March); restaurants and hotels (2 percent from 2.2 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (1.7 percent from 2 percent). Additional gains came from: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1 percent, the same as in March); and health (2.2 percent from 1.7 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.7 percent from -2.6 percent in March); recreation and culture (-2 percent from -2.4 percent); clothing and footwear (-4.3 percent from -3.8 percent); and furnishings and household equipment (-4.9 percent from -4.5 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, rose to 0.7 percent from 0.2 percent in March.
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew by 0.4 percent, easing from a 0.6 percent rise in the previous month but way above market expectations of a 0.1 percent drop. The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Transport (2.3 percent) and restaurants and hotels (0.5 percent). There were decreases in furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-0.8 percent) and clothing and footwear (-0.6 percent)

The harmonized index increased by 0.7 percent compared to a year earlier and by 0.4 percent in the month.


Wednesday May 03 2017
Irish Unemployment Rate Falls To Near 9-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.2 percent in April 2017 from 6.4 percent in the previous month and 8.4 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest jobless rate since June 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to decline.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 135,800 in April 2017, down from 140,600 when compared to the March 2017 figure and a decrease of 47,300 when compared to April 2016. 

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in March and from 9.7 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in the previous month and from 6.8 percent in April 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,000 from the previous month to 81,400, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 2,800 to 54,400.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 12.9 percent, the lowest reading since June 2008, from 13.7 percent in the previous month.

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


Tuesday April 18 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Falls From Record High As Imports Rise
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted trade surplus decreased by 9 percent to €4,736 million in February 2017 from a downwardly revised record high of €5,187 million in the previous month, as imports jumped by 16 percent while exports rose at a slower 3 percent, preliminary figures showed. Meanwhile, the non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 39.1 percent year-on-year to €4,265 million.

Seasonally adjusted goods imports increased by €800 million, or 16 percent, to €5,883 million from the previous month; and exports increased by €349 million, or 3 percent, to €10,619 million, preliminary figures showed.

The non-seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened 39.1 percent year-on-year to €4,265 million, as exports increased by €1,303 million, or 15 percent, to €9,738 million, due to higher sales of medical and pharmaceutical products (37 percent), and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (28 percent).

Exports to the UK increased by €189 million, or 19 percent, to €1,162 million. The main products accounting for this increase were exports of chemicals and related products which increased by €158 million, or 58 percent, to €433 million. The EU accounted for €4,853 million, or 50 percent, of total goods exports, of which €1,115 million went to Belgium. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for €2,945 million, or 30 percent, of total exports.

Meanwhile, imports rose by €105 million, or 2 percent, to €5,473 million compared with February 2016, mainly due to higher purchases of petroleum (25 percent). By contrast, imports of office machines and automatic data processing machines dropped 31 percent.

The EU accounted for 63 percent of the value of goods imports in February 2017, with €1,219 million, or 22 percent, of total imports coming from the UK. Imports from the UK decreased by €54 million, or 4 percent, compared with February 2016., mainly due to small decreases in the imports of food and live animals and machinery and transport equipment. The US with €767 million, or 14 percent, and China with €283 million, or 5 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports.

In the first two months of the year, the trade surplus increased to €8.5 billion from €6.8 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 12 percent to €19.2 billion while imports rose 3 percent to €10.7 billion.


Thursday April 13 2017
Irish Inflation Rate Rises To 3-1/2-Year High In March
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish consumer prices increased by 0.7 percent in the year to March 2017 after rising by 0.5 percent in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since July 2013, driven by higher cost for transport, restaurants and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services.

Year-on-year, the biggest upwards contribution came from: Transport (5.3 percent from 3.6 percent in February); restaurants and hotels (2.2 percent from 2.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2 percent from 2.1 percent). Additional gains came from: Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1 percent from 1.4 percent in February); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.5 percent from -0.1 percent); and health (inflation steady at 1.7 percent). By contrast, cost continued to drop for: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (-2.6 percent, the same as in February); recreation and culture (-2.4 percent, the same as in February); and clothing and footwear (-3.8 percent from -2.5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, was recorded at 0.2 percent.
  
On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew by 0.6 percent, the same as in the previous month. The most significant monthly price changes were increases in transport (2.1 percent) and clothing and footwear (1.9 percent). There were decreases in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (-0.3 percent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (-0.2 percent).

The harmonized index increased by 0.6 percent compared to a year earlier and by 0.6 percent in the month.


Tuesday April 04 2017
Irish Jobless Rate Falls To Nearly 9-Year Low
CSO | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in March 2017 from 6.6 percent in the previous month and 8.3 percent in the same month of the previous year. It was the lowest jobless rate since June 2008, as the number of unemployed continued to decline.

The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 141,400 in March 2017, down from 144,700 when compared to the February 2017 figure and a decrease of 39,800 when compared to March 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for males was recorded at 6.9 percent, down from 7.1 percent in February and from 9.8 percent a year earlier; while for females it was recorded at 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in the previous month and from 6.6 percent in March 2016. The number of males unemployed dropped by 2,200 from the previous month to 83,500, while the number of females unemployed decreased by 1,100 to 57,900.

Youth unemployment rate fell to 13.9 percent, the lowest reading since July 2008, from 14.5 percent in the previous month.

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


Wednesday March 15 2017
Irish Trade Surplus Reaches Record High
CSO | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Ireland recorded a EUR 5.75 billion trade surplus in January of 2017 compared to a downwardly revised EUR 3.79 billion surplus in the previous month. It is the biggest surplus on record as exports jumped 7 percent to record high while imports slumped 20 percent to the lowest in a year.

Exports rose to EUR 10.84 billion, recovering from a 2 percent drop in December. Imports declined to EUR 5.09 billion, following a 1.2 percent drop in December. 

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports went up 14 percent compared to the previous year, boosted by sales of chemicals and related products (14 percent) and machinery and transport equipment (14 percent). Imports went up 3 percent year-on-year, mainly due to a 66 percent jump in purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

The EU accounted for EUR 5.086 billion (51 percent) of total goods exports in January of which EUR 1.355 billion went to Belgium and EUR 1.073 billion to Great Britain. The USA was the largest export destination accounting for EUR 3.104 million (31 percent) of total sales. Goods imports from the EU made up 60 percent of the total purchases, with EUR 1.251 billion (24 percent) coming from Great Britain. The USA with EUR 0.645 billion (12 percent) and China with EUR 0.392 billion (8 percent) were the largest non-EU sources of imports.