Economics: Ireland’s seasonally-adjusted trade surplus likely to have picked up in October

Also on Friday, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will publish Ireland’s monthly external trade data for October. Ireland posted a seasonally-adjusted merchandise surplus of €3,595m in September, up from the revised positive balance of €3,303m (€3,599m) in August. Seasonally-adjusted exports were up 1.2% in the month at €9,343m, while imports recorded a fall of 3.0% to €5,748m.

Meanwhile, on an unadjusted basis there was a surplus of €4,066m in September, €242m above the surplus of €3,824m posted in the ninth month of 2016. Unadjusted exports amounted to €9,601m in September, representing a decrease of €885m (-8.4%) on September 2016. Exports of Organic chemicals declined by €546m (-29.0%) to €1,337m; Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances fell by €115m (-19.2%) to €485m but Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by €332m (+13.0%) to €2,882m compared with the same month last year.

The trade outlook going forward remains clouded in uncertainty as a result of “Brexit”, but we are still anticipating another solid performance this year. Indeed, based on the very positive start to 2017, with the trade balance in the first nine months running €1.2bn above that of the same time last year, a record surplus now looks on the cards of around €46-47bn, up from €45.2bn in 2016. As regards October, a seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of €3,800m is projected.