“The trade data for May provides further evidence that the export sector is joining in the Irish economic recovery and will contribute to GDP growth in 2014,” according to analyst Conall MacCoille.
Preliminary figures for May from the Central Statistics Office said that seasonally adjusted exports increased by 15pc to €7.9bn, which is the highest level since March of last year.
The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus increased by €468m, or 16pc, to €3.34bn from April to hit the highest level since March 2013. Comparing May of this year to May of 2013, the value of exports increased €660m, or 9pc, to €7.9bn.
The main reasons were increases of €213m, or 14pc, in the exports of organic chemicals, and €197m, or 12pc, in medical and pharmaceutical products. Total exports during the month stood at almost €7.9bn on a seasonally adjusted basis which was 15pc higher than in April. Exports to the USA increased by 30pc and to China by 29pc compared to the same month last year. The value of imports was also higher – rising €541m (14%) to more than €4.5bn.