Exports have fallen to their lowest level since March, official figures published in September showed, raising the first question about whether a remarkable upsurge which is driving the economic recovery in Ireland can last.
Exports fell in July to €8.76bn from €9.35bn in June, and were also down from the €9.35bn mark in May. Exports recorded their lowest level since March, when it was €8.73bn.
Exports have been helped this year by a big fall in the value of the euro against sterling, boosting the price competitiveness of goods sold by Irish firms into Britain.
Export of both goods and services is also driving an extraordinary increase in GDP, with Finance Minister Michael Noonan indicating that he expects the economy will grow 6% this year.