Trade Surplus from Ireland Third Highest in EU

16 September 2011 - Which Way to Pay

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Trade Surplus from Ireland Third Highest in EU

New figures have shown the Irish trade surplus for the first six months of the year amounted to €21.3 billion. This is the third highest figure in the European Union, only exceeded by Germany and the Netherlands. The data from Eurostat also showed that the UK had the largest trade deficit in the EU at £56 billion, closely followed by France at €45 billion.

The surplus was partly due to a rise in exports in the same period by 7% to €46.2 billion, whilst imports increased by 9% to €24.9 billion. Additional figures released also showed that labour costs increased by 3.6% throughout the second quarter from the first. This is the largest such rise since 2008 and the start of the recession.

The move from the European Central Bank last week to keep the key interest rate at 1.5% came as their economic forecast was lowered for the remainder of this year and for next year. As these gloomy predictions arise, economic growth in the US also continues to cool. The outlook for the global economy is clearly of concern to the ECB. In the short-term, the bank are unlikely to cut interest rates if the eurozone doesn’t fall back into recession.

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