Tuesday, 23 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
39. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Finance the concerns, if any, he has at the reduction in the current account trade surplus evidenced by recent CSO figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14288/00]
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The balance of payments data recently released by the CSO show that the merchandise trade surplus for 1999 was £17,777 million, an increase of £3,637 million over 1998. The deficit on services in 1999 was £8,903 million, an increase of £1,819 million over 1998. The combined surplus on merchandise and services in 1999 was £8,874 million compared to £7,056 million in 1998. The trade surplus in 1999, therefore, was higher than in 1998 and shows that the economy is continuing to perform very strongly.
The Deputy may, of course, be referring to the question of the overall surplus on the current account which declined from £1,173 million in 1998 to £233 million in 1999. The reduction in the surplus is due to a number of factors such as an increase in profit repatriations and lower current transfers which arose mainly in the IFSC. Current transfers mainly relate to non-life insurance business.
I have no concerns about the current account which is still in surplus. Indeed, the decline in the surplus is in line with what had been expected. While the surplus was lower in 1999 than in 1998, this is not surprising given the substantial level of investment in the economy at present. This investment strengthens the possibility of growth in future years.
|Last Updated: 11/09/2010 03:14:53||Page of 291|