Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (102)

Thomas P. Broughan


106 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he is concerned that exports through Dublin Port fell by 0.8% in the first five months of 2012 and overall trade is down by 1.7% through the port; his views on the impact of this decrease on economic recovery here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34807/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I note the Deputy's concerns regarding exports through Dublin Port, particularly given that exports have been the bedrock upon which Ireland's recovery has been based. However, I would point to the recently published Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) which provides hard data on exports. Exports were 6.1 per cent higher for the first quarter of 2012 than in the corresponding period in 2011. Exports also increased by 2.6 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis. These positive figures are testament to Ireland's improving competitiveness. It is important also to note the composition of Irish exports, with exports of services increasing steadily since 2009 and now representing nearly 50 per cent of all exports. This continued growth is reflected in the 11.9 per cent increase in services in Q1 2012 when compared with Q1 of 2011. However, given the nature of services, this will not be reflected in Dublin Port's figures. Encouragingly though, the QNA data also show an increase in the export of goods over the same period of 1.1 per cent.

These figures are consistent with my Department's forecast for export led growth in 2012.