The volume of Irish exports increased dramatically over the 1995–2000 period, registering average annual growth of 16.9%; the rate of import growth over the same period was only slightly lower at 16.6%. The year 2000 was the first since 1991 that the current account was not in surplus. The reduction of the balance of payments surplus in the early 2000s suggested that the level of Irish imports was increasing due to increased demand for luxury items and services, rather than from a decline in exports. Irish export growth during those years, in fact, consistently surpassed EU growth. However, the slowdown in the global economy and slower than predicted growth in the euro area was expected to negatively impact Irish exports. The current account was forecast to return to a surplus in 2004 due to an improved EU and world economy.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2002 the purchasing power parity of Ireland's exports was $85.3 billion while imports totaled $48.3 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $37 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 2001 Ireland had exports of goods and services totaling $78.4 billion and imports totaling $48.4 billion. The services credit totaled $20.2 billion and debit $34.9 billion. The following table summarizes Ireland's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 2001 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||30,003|
|Balance on services||-14,659|
|Balance on income||-16,865|
|Direct investment abroad||-5,405|
|Direct investment in Ireland||9,865|
|Portfolio investment assets||-108,535|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||91,128|
|Other investment assets||-12,101|
|Other investment liabilities||25,033|
|Net Errors and Omissions||803|
|Reserves and Related Items||-395|