Ireland's official trade surplus narrows in May

Ireland's trade surplus narrowed by 7.0 percent in May from April as exports fell by more than imports, official data showed on Friday.

A trade surplus is one of the main factors of growth in an economy and Ireland, which is fighting to break out of a bailout programme, is counting heavily on exports to help it emerge from its debt crisis.

The trade surplus fell to 3.069 billion euros ($4.0 billion), the Central Statistics Office said in a statement.

Exports dropped by 4.0 percent to 7.052 billion euros in May and imports fell 2.0 percent to 3.983 billion euros.

The main driver behind lower exports was a 579-million-euro decrease in medical and pharmaceutical product exports and a 132-million-euro decline in the export of petroleum and petroleum-related products, the CSO added.