Ireland Economy

IRELAND

Ireland Economy – overview:

Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. It was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry during 2008-11. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP – the world’s largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland’s EU-IMF bailout program.

In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. Continued growth of tax receipts has allowed the government to lower some taxes and increase public spending while keeping to its deficit-reduction targets. In 2015, GDP growth exceeded 26%. The magnitude of the increase reflected one-off statistical revisions, multinational corporate restructurings in intellectual property, and the aircraft leasing sector, rather than real gains in the domestic economy, which was still growing. Growth moderated to around 4.1% in 2017, but the recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 0.6% of GDP.

In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment during the 2008-11 economic crisis, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland’s economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% and a talented pool of high-tech laborers have been some of the key factors in encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to pay less tax or, in the case of U.S. multinationals, defer taxation owed to the United States. In 2014, amid growing international pressure, the Irish government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a commonly used loophole. The Irish economy continued to grow in 2017 and is forecast to do so through 2019, supported by a strong export sector, robust job growth, and low inflation, to the point that the Government must now address concerns about overheating and potential loss of competitiveness. The greatest risks to the economy are the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union (“Brexit”) in March 2019, possible changes to international taxation policies that could affect Ireland’s revenues, and global trade pressures.

Ireland GDP (purchasing power parity):

$353.3 billion (2017 est.)

$329.5 billion (2016 est.)

$314.1 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 51

Ireland GDP (official exchange rate):

$331.5 billion (2017 est.)

Ireland GDP – real growth rate:

7.2% (2017 est.)

4.9% (2016 est.)

25% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

Ireland GDP – per capita (PPP):

$73,200 (2017 est.)

$69,100 (2016 est.)

$66,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 10

Ireland Gross national saving:

33.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

33.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

29% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Ireland GDP – composition, by end use:

household consumption: 34% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 23.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 119.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -89.7% (2017 est.)

Ireland GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 1.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 38.6% (2017 est.)

services: 60.2% (2017 est.)

Ireland Agriculture – products:

barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products

Ireland Industries:

pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices

Ireland Industrial production growth rate:

7.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Ireland Labor force:

2.226 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 122

Ireland Labor force – by occupation:

agriculture: 5%

industry: 11%

services: 84% (2015 est.)

Ireland Unemployment rate:

6.7% (2017 est.)

8.4% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Ireland Population below poverty line:

8.2% (2013 est.)

Ireland Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)

Ireland Distribution of family income – Gini index:

31.3 (2013 est.)

35.9 (1987 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Ireland Budget:

revenues: 86.04 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 87.19 billion (2017 est.)

Ireland Taxes and other revenues:

26% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 115

Ireland Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Ireland Public debt:

68.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

73.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

country comparison to the world: 53

Ireland Fiscal year:

calendar year

Ireland Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.3% (2017 est.)

-0.2% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Ireland Central bank discount rate:

0.05% (31 December 2015)

0.15% (31 August 2014)

note: this is the European Central Bank’s rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

country comparison to the world: 145

Ireland Commercial bank prime lending rate:

4.08% (31 December 2017 est.)

3.48% (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 166

Ireland Stock of narrow money:

$191.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$156.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

country comparison to the world: 26

Ireland Stock of broad money:

$191.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$156.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Ireland Stock of domestic credit:

$299.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$287.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 37

Ireland Market value of publicly traded shares:

$128 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$143.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$170.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Ireland Current account balance:

$28.14 billion (2017 est.)

-$12.59 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Ireland Exports:

$219.7 billion (2017 est.)

$206 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Ireland Exports – partners:

US 27.1%, UK 13.4%, Belgium 11%, Germany 8.1%, Switzerland 5.1%, Netherlands 4.9%, France 4.3% (2017)

Ireland Exports – commodities:

machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products

Ireland Imports:

$98.13 billion (2017 est.)

$92.09 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Ireland Imports – commodities:

data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing

Ireland Imports – partners:

UK 29%, US 18.9%, France 12.1%, Germany 9.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2017)

Ireland Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$4.412 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99

Ireland Debt – external:

$2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)

$2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Ireland Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:

$1.54 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.411 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Ireland Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:

$1.56 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.404 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Ireland Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar –

0.885 (2017 est.)

0.903 (2016 est.)

0.9214 (2015 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)


Data for Educational Purpose Only.

Source: 

The World Factbook 2016-17. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2016.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html


Other Pages Relating to Country Ireland:

Ireland at a Glance and One Page Summary

Ireland Background and Introduction

Ireland Geography

Ireland People and Society

Ireland Government

Ireland Economy

Ireland Energy Resources

Ireland Communications System

Ireland Transportation System

Ireland Military and Security System

Ireland Transnational Issues

Ireland Capital Flag and Currency

Go to All Country Index


Latest Govt Job & Exam Updates:

View Full List ...