Last year Irish good exports hit the highest level since 2002, latest figures show.

According to the trade figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), goods exports in 2012 increased on 2011 levels to hit €92 billion ($124 billion).

The US remains the top market for Irish exports, with Belgium and Britain following closely behind.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton welcomed the figures.

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“A strong export performance will be crucial to delivering the economic recovery we are all working so hard to achieve," Bruton said in a statement.

“Conditions in international markets remain difficult, but today’s record figures show that Irish exporters are performing extraordinarily well in a tough environment.

“Other recent signs including the major jobs announcements we have seen recently show that there are real reasons for optimism about the transition that is occurring in our economy.

“Major challenges remain but I am convinced that with continued strong implementation we can help drive for the export-led jobs recovery we need.”

Irish exports at highest level since 2002Google Images