Ireland: Export growth hit by euro zone turmoil
Thursday, 03 May 2012 | 00:00
The IEA said that economic turmoil in the euro zone countries prevented any real growth in the export of
goods in the first three months of the year.
However, it noted that service exports continued to perform strongly.
Merchandise exports grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter of the year. Service exports grew by a more robust 8.1%, providing all of the uplift in the total export growth of 3.6%.
Service exports were boosted by continued strong foreign direct investment, the IEA noted.
The Irish Exporters Association said that one bright spot in the first three months of the year was exports to the UK, which grew by 19% in the first quarter, helped by a weaker euro.
Exports to Brazil and Russia were up 32%, and exports to India were up 14%, but exports to China fell by 5%. the IEA said this trend is expected to improve after the recent three ministerial led trade missions to China and the visit here of Vice Premier Xi Zinping.
However, total exports to these BRIC countries accounted for just 4% of all Irish exports. In comparison, most EU states send a fifth of their export to the BRIC countries.
''The return to recession in the euro zone, which accounts for 39% of our goods exports and 35% of service exports, has impacted on our exports in the first three months of the year,'' commented the IEA's chief executive John Whelan.
He said he is concerned that the euro zone crisis will spill over to the US and damage a sustained recovery in the US, which accounts for 23% of the country's goods exports and 7% of service exports.
For the full year, the IEA is forecasting total export growth of 3%, made up of 1% growth in goods and 6% growth in services.
''Growth of this magnitude will inevitably result in much lower job creation from the export sector this year, which was expected to yield 30,000 jobs directly and a similar number of jobs indirectly in the wider economy,'' commented John Whelan.
He said one way to escape the impact of a recession in Europe is to aggressively focus the country's export promotional effort on the fast growth emerging markets. This includes the fast growing African markets, Middle East and South American markets, as well as the BRIC countries.
''Such an approach would, in the longer term, ensure a more sustainable high level of export growth and with it more rapid jobs growth and a buoyant economy,' he added.
Source: RTE News
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