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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Balance of International Payments

Quarter 1 2018

   € million
Merchandise BalanceInvisibles BalanceCurrent Account BalanceCurrent Account Balance as % of GDP
Q1 201827,078-17,5279,55212.4
Q1 201725,032-19,9765,0567.4
Year 2017107,639-82,71324,9248.5
Year 2016106,088-117,460-11,373-4.2

Current account surplus of €9.6bn in Quarter 1 2018

Balance of International Payments Q12018 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, showed a surplus of nearly €9.6bn in the first quarter of 2018. A merchandise surplus of over €27bn was partially offset by a deficit of €17.5bn on services and income. This surplus in the first quarter of 2018 followed a similar surplus of €9.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For the year 2017, the current account surplus was €25bn, an increase of  €36bn on 2016, where large imports of intellectual property dominated the figures. Large globalisation effects related to goods for processing and trade in intellectual property continue to increase the Irish current account balance in 2017, similar to the pattern seen in 2015 (see Table 1).

This release includes the results of our annual revisions work to prior quarters, consistent with our National Accounts and other Macroeconomic publications. We have also included for the first time, new quarterly data series on goods for processing and additional detail on royalty payments for the Pharmaceutical and ICT industry.