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CSO statistical release, 15 March 2018, 11am

Balance of International Payments

Quarter 4 and Year 2017

   € million
Merchandise BalanceServices and Income BalanceCurrent Account BalanceCurrent Account Balance as % of GDP
Q4 201729,966-15,06214,90419.0
Q4 201628,434-26,0742,3603.1
Year 2017107,330-70,24037,09012.5
Year 2016105,852-96,6599,1933.3

Current account surplus of €15bn in Quarter 4 2017

Balance of International Payments Fig 1
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The Balance of Payments current account, a measure of Ireland’s economic flows with the rest of the world, had a surplus of nearly €15bn in the fourth quarter of 2017. A merchandise surplus of €30bn was partially offset by a deficit of €15bn on services and income. This current account surplus in the fourth quarter of 2017 followed a similar surplus of €14.5bn in the third quarter of 2017.

For the year 2017, the current account surplus was €37bn, an increase of nearly €28bn on 2016, where large imports of intellectual property dominated the figures. The 2017 data is continuing on trend from 2015, where large globalisation events dramatically increased the Irish current account balance (see Table 1).

This release includes the new Table 2c showing Ireland’s Balance of Payments with the UK. This new table gives a detailed account of our services trade and income flows with the UK on a quarterly basis.