"In Ireland and Portugal export performance has also been strong, because programme countries are now reaping the benefits from their significant improvement in cost competitiveness."
Thus Jörg Asmussen, ECB board member, speaking at Bank of America/Merill Lynch Investor conference in Washington, 20 April 2013.
And here's what he was talking about :
In the 12 months to Feb 2013, Ireland's exports were 4% higher than during the same period of 2009/08 - ie, the nadir. Currently, momentum is being lost quicker than at any time during that period.
Yes, during 2010 and 2011, Portugal did indeed manage to sustain positive export growth. But there's been no yoy growth during the last six months, and for the last eight months, the 6m momentum trend has been negative.
I wonder what his speaker's fee was?