Thursday, January 19, 2012

19/01/2012: Quarterly data on complete trade balance: Q3 2011

While we are on trade data (see previous post on November 2011 merchandise trade stats here), let's also update full trade stats for QNA results for Q3 2011. This covers all trade - merchandise and services, so it paints a full picture of our trade balance.

Chart below shows quarterly trade stats for Ireland. Per latest QNA:

  • Exports of goods and services fell from €41.945bn in Q2 2011 to €41.186bn in Q3 2011, a decline of 1.81%. This comes after a qoq rise of 4.34% in Q1-Q2 2011 period. Year on year, Q2 2011 saw exports rise 3.78% and Q3 saw an increase of 1.91%.
  • Despite the slowdown, Q3 results was still the second best quarterly exports performance on record.
  • Imports of goods and services shrunk in Q3 2011 to €31.6bn, down 5.45% qoq, which comes on foot of a 3.06% rise qoq in Q2 2011. Year on year, imports were up 3.3% in Q2 2011 and are down just 0.29% in Q3 2011.
  • This means the trade balance has reached another historical high at €9.586bn in Q3 2011. The trade surplus was up 9.66% in qoq terms and 5.69% in yoy terms in Q2 2011 and it rose 12.49% qoq and 9.89% yoy in Q3 2011.

The core driver for the dramatic gains in trade balance for goods and services was a substantial decline in trade deficit on services side. This can be best seen from annualized figures, shown below:

Based on Q3 data, we can expect:

  • Total annual exports to rise to €164.75bn in 2011, up 4.48% on €157.67bn in 2010
  • Total annual imports to increase 3.95% yoy to €132.953bn, and
  • Total trade surplus to rise 6.55% yoy to €31.72bn
  • Of the above €1.95bn improvement in the annual expected trade surplus is likely to come from a €1.66bn improvement (reduction) in the annual trade deficit in services which is expected tos shrink to €11.99bn in 2011.

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