Byline: John O'Halloran
A SLUMP in imports caused by consumers pulling in their horns has kept Irelands trade balance looking healthy despite the recession.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office yesterday showed that exports held steady in August while imports dropped substantially.
The figures showed a seasonally adjusted decrease of 10 pc in imports in August relative to July, dropping to E4.6 bn.
Exports held firm at E7.1bn to push the surplus to E2.5bn, up from E2bn in July and the highest since May.
The fall in imports reflects two factors, according to Dr Ronnie OToole, chief economist with National Irish Bank.