29 January 2003, 16:14  Exporters warn on danger of rising euro

The continued strengthening of the euro against the US dollar and sterling is causing major difficulties for Irish exporters, according to the Irish Exporters' Association. The Association today claimed that the value of the euro, which has increased by 26pc over the past 12 months against the US dollar and by 8pc against sterling, is costing exporters nearly E40m per week in reduced earnings. "The UK is the largest market for Irish goods taking E23.5bn of our exports last year. The 8pc strengthening of the euro against sterling is currently costing Irish exporters E36.5m in lost margins per week," said the Association's chief executive, John Whelan.
"If this continues throughout 2003, this will cumulate to a E1.9bn wipe out of corporate profits from the export sector," he added. He went on to say any compensating gains on imports from the UK have been absorbed by wage and service cost inflation running at over double the UK rate. Commenting on the US situation, Whelan said, "The 26pc appreciation of the euro against the US dollar is potentially the most damaging in the long term for the Irish economy." //www.fxcentre.com

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