Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Lewis Parker
Irish exports holding economy together
While the horse-meat found in Tesco burgers came from an Irish company’s Polish supplier, the scandal highlights a chink in the Irish armour. Its economic recovery is almost totally reliant on exports, so they could really do without such PR disasters.
But the numbers are still looking good. Exports increased by 5 per cent in 2012, hitting a record of €18bn, according to the Irish Exporters Association. Services were the main driver of growth last year with an 11 per cent increase, which consolidated Ireland’s ranking as the ninth largest global exporter of services.
’’Ireland’s export growth at twice the world trade average for 2012 shows a strong return to competitiveness in many our businesses,” said John Whelan, chief executive of the IEA.
Central Irish Bank does not agree
But the Central Irish Bank has other ideas. They say demand for Irish goods and services will remain subdued throughout 2013.
They predict the economy will grow at 1.3 per cent this year, down from a previous estimate of 1.7 per cent. But with unemployment projected to stay high at 14.5 per cent, consumer confidence will be low as the middle and working class continue to suffer from the austerity imposed by the European Central Bank as a condition of its €3bn financial bailout.