Statistics released today from Eurostat, the EU’s statistic compilers, has shown that for the first six months of this year Irish exports rose by 7% to €46.2bn. It was the third highest trade surplus in the EU for the period.Germany and the Netherlands were the only countries higher than Ireland, while the UK reported a deficit of £56 billion, the largest in the EU, followed by France at €45 billion.
The other PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) all reported large deficits, with Spain at €23.8 billion, Italy recording a €22.1 billion trade deficit, and Greece at €9.5 billion. Portugal’s trade deficit over the six months was €8.6 billion.
Notes of caution come in the shape of exports and labour costs. Exports rose by 9% in the same period while labour costs rose 3.6% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest jump since 2008.