Economics: Irelandâ€™s external trade balance forecast to have fallen back in April.
The domestic economic focus on Friday turns to the external trade figures for April. There was a record seasonally-adjusted merchandise trade surplus of â‚¬5,051m in March, which was â‚¬557m higher than the revised surplus of â‚¬4,494m (â‚¬4,736m) posted in the second month of 2017. Based on the latest official data, March was the first time the surplus has broken the â‚¬5bn mark.
Seasonally-adjusted exports were down 4.0% in the month at â‚¬10,150m while imports recorded a big fall of 16.2% to â‚¬5,099m, more than reversing the 14.9% increase posted in February.
Meanwhile, on an unadjusted basis there was a record surplus of â‚¬5,247m in March, â‚¬1,950m above the surplus of â‚¬3,297m posted in the third month of 2016. However, the timing of Easter could be a factor here. For 2016 as a whole, the surplus was revised down to â‚¬45,521m from â‚¬46,170m, but still a record-high and â‚¬3,225m greater than the previous record surplus of â‚¬42,296m in 2015.
The trade outlook going forward remains clouded in uncertainty due to â€œBrexitâ€, but we are still anticipating another solid performance this year. Indeed, based on the very positive start to 2017, another record surplus now looks on the cards of around â‚¬49-50bn.
Meanwhile, a seasonally-adjusted surplus of â‚¬4,400m is projected for April.
Alan McQuaid (16/06/17)