Ireland - Economic Indicators

Ireland Outlook: Brexit Looms Over a Stellar Rebound

Apr 12, 2018

View the Moody's Analytics Ireland Forecast. Led by booming exports, Irish real GDP growth was the largest in the European Union last year. The labor market is on track to mount a full recovery over the next few quarters. Housing demand is also on the upswing, but weak homebuilding is driving up prices, raising fears of another real estate bubble. Trade wars and Brexit pose significant economic and geopolitical risks. Ireland’s comeback continues...

Continue reading on Economy.com View Factbook for Ireland

GDP Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Private Consumption 2017 Q4 25,210 25,051 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Private Consumption 2017 Q4 24,625 24,552 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Government Consumption 2017 Q4 7,302 7,243 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Government Consumption 2017 Q4 7,522 7,411 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Investment 2017 Q4 15,896 16,096 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 Q4 14,697 13,847 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Nominal Gross Domestic Product 2017 Q4 76,293 75,663 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Investment 2017 Q4 15,200 15,626 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Nominal Fixed Investment (gross fixed capital formation) 2017 Q4 15,377 14,501 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Gross Domestic Product 2017 Q4 78,088 75,694 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Price Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Apr 2018 100.7 100.9 Index Dec2016=100, NSA Monthly
Wholesale Price Index Jan 2018 101.72 103.12 2010=100, SA Monthly
Labor Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Agriculture Employment 2017 108,645 112,833 # Annual
Wage & Salaries 2017 Q4 734.6 717.57 EUR, NSA Quarterly
Secondary Industries Employment 2017 Q2 407.5 406.2 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Labor Force Employment 2017 Q2 2,063 2,045 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Unemployment 2017 Q2 141.5 146.2 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Labor Force 2017 Q2 2,204 2,191 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Unemployment Rate 2017 Q2 6.4 6.7 %, NSA Quarterly
Tertiary Industries Employment 2017 Q2 1,539 1,524 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Primary Industries Employment 2017 Q2 110.1 107.7 Ths. #, NSA Quarterly
Trade Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Current Account Balance 2017 Q4 14,904 14,488 Mil. EUR, NSA Quarterly
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 96,437 92,415 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Net Exports 2017 Q4 30,203 29,728 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Exports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 92,403 89,516 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Imports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 -66,751 -63,275 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2017 Q4 -66,234 -62,687 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Net Exports 2017 Q4 25,652 26,241 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Exports of Goods Aug 2017 9,005,300 9,399,600 Thousands of Euros, SA Monthly
Imports of Goods Aug 2017 5,406,300 5,319,000 Thousands of Euros, SA Monthly
Balance of Goods Aug 2017 3,599,100 4,080,500 Thousands of Euros, SA Monthly
Government Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Government Budget Balance 2017 -1,015 -1,811 Millions of Euro, NSA Annual
Government Expenditures 2017 77,210 74,376 Millions of Euro, NSA Annual
Government Revenues 2017 76,195 72,565 Millions of Euro, NSA Annual
Gross External Debt 2017 Q3 0 0 USD, NSA Quarterly
Outstanding Public Debt 2015 234,768,000,000 236,925,000,000 NCU Annual
Markets Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Average Long-term Government Bond Mar 2018 0.9 1.08 % Monthly
Money Market Rate Mar 2018 -0.33 -0.33 % per annum, NSA Monthly
Treasury Bills (over 31 days) 2017 Q4 2,009 2,008 Mil. EUR, NSA Quarterly
Stock Market Index 01 Dec 2017 6,862 6,867 Index, NSA Business Daily
Lending Rate 2005 2.84 2.63 % Annual
Real Estate Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
House Price Index Mar 2018 104.37 103.21 Index Jan2005=100, SA Monthly
Residential Building Completions Feb 2018 1,740 1,418 #, NSA Monthly
Residential Building Permits 2017 Q4 1,454 1,516 #, NSA Quarterly
Building Permits 2017 Q4 5,961 6,884 #, NSA Quarterly
Building Completions 2017 Q1 3,896 4,425 #, NSA Quarterly
House Price Value for New Homes 2016 Q4 323,875 305,300 EUR, NSA Quarterly
House Price Value for Existing Homes 2016 Q4 292,457 284,332 EUR, NSA Quarterly
Dwelling Stocks 2015 2,022 2,014 Ths. # Annual
Consumer Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Consumer Confidence Apr 2018 104.03 108.06 1995=100, NSA Monthly
Real Retail Sales Dec 2017 134.5 134.6 Vol. Index 2010=100, SA Monthly
Retail Sales Dec 2017 119 119.6 Index 2010=100, SA Monthly
Business Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Industrial Production Feb 2018 139.6 168.9 Vol. Index 2010=100, NSA Monthly
Change in Inventories 2017 Q4 519 1,595 Mil. EUR, SA Quarterly
Real Change in Inventories 2017 Q4 503 1,779 Mil. Ch. 2015 EUR, SA Quarterly
Capacity Utilization 2016 Q3 78.6 %, NSA Quarterly
Business Confidence Apr 2008 99.95 99.96 Index long term avg=100, SA Monthly
Demographics Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Population 2017 4,792 4,739 Ths. #, NSA Annual
Births 2017 Q3 15,635 15,222 # Quarterly
Deaths 2017 Q3 6,987 7,315 # Quarterly
Death Rate 2015 6.4 6.3 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Birth Rate 2015 14.2 14.6 # per Ths. pop. Annual
Net Migration 2012 -139,996 # Annual

Factbook

Background

Background:
Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century saw the population of the island drop by one third through starvation and emigration. For more than a century after that the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU. The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising that touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. Unresolved issues in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the "Troubles" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker what is known as The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between the Irish and British Governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the euro-zone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.

Geography

Location:
Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Geographic coordinates:
53 00 N, 8 00 W
Map references:
Europe
Area:
total: 70,273 sq km
land: 68,883 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
country comparison to the world: 121
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than West Virginia
Area comparison map:
Land boundaries:
total: 443 km
border countries (1): UK 443 km
Coastline:
1,448 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Terrain:
mostly flat to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Elevation:
mean elevation: 118 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Natural resources:
natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
Land use:
agricultural land: 66.1%
arable land 15.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 50.7%
forest: 10.9%
other: 23% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (2012)
Population - distribution:
population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest concentration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities
Natural hazards:
rare extreme weather events
Environment - current issues:
water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin

People & Society

Population:
5,011,102 (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
Nationality:
noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish
Ethnic groups:
Irish 82.2%, Irish travelers 0.7%, other white 9.5%, Asian 2.1%, black 1.4%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)
Languages:
English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 39.8% of the population in 2016; mainly spoken in areas along Ireland's western coast known as gaeltachtai, which are officially recognized regions where Irish is the predominant language)
Religions:
Roman Catholic 78.3%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Orthodox 1.3%, Muslim 1.3%, other 2.4%, none 9.8%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.46% (male 549,864/female 525,608)
15-24 years: 11.84% (male 301,114/female 292,055)
25-54 years: 43.2% (male 1,087,587/female 1,077,383)
55-64 years: 10.42% (male 261,650/female 260,737)
65 years and over: 13.07% (male 303,078/female 352,026) (2017 est.)
population pyramid:
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 53.8
youth dependency ratio: 33.4
elderly dependency ratio: 20.3
potential support ratio: 4.9 (2015 est.)
Median age:
total: 36.8 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 37.1 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
Population growth rate:
1.15% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Birth rate:
14.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
Death rate:
6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Net migration rate:
4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
Population distribution:
population distribution is weighted to the eastern side of the island, with the largest concentration being in and around Dublin; populations in the west are small due to mountainous land, poorer soil, lack of good transport routes, and fewer job opportunities
Urbanization:
urban population: 63.8% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population:
DUBLIN (capital) 1.169 million (2015)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth:
30.7 years (2015 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 80.9 years
male: 78.6 years
female: 83.4 years (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
Total fertility rate:
1.97 children born/woman (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
Health expenditures:
7.8% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 57
Physicians density:
2.79 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density:
2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 97.9% of population
rural: 97.8% of population
total: 97.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.1% of population
rural: 2.2% of population
total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 92.9% of population
total: 90.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 7.1% of population
total: 9.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
6,200 (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
25.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 51
Education expenditures:
5.3% of GDP (2013)
country comparison to the world: 31
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 19 years
male: 19 years
female: 19 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 20.9%
male: 23.6%
female: 17.6% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Capital:
name: Dublin
geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
Independence:
6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
National holiday:
Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March; note - marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, during the latter half of the fifth century A.D. (most commonly cited years are c. 461 and c. 493); although Saint Patrick's feast day was celebrated in Ireland as early as the ninth century, it only became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903
Constitution:
history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937
amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidential signature; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system:
common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)
head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo VARADKAR (since 14 June 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament)
elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann), appointed by the president
election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS (Labor Party) 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS (Sinn Fein) 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL (Fine Gael) 6.4%, David NORRIS (independent) 6.2%, other 5.6%
Legislative branch:
description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected by panels of various vocational interests, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (158 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in April and May 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021); House of Representatives - last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Sinn Fein 7, Labor Party 5, Green Party 1, independent 14
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 25.5%, Fianna Fail 24.4%, Sinn Fein 13.8%, Labor Party 6.6%, AAA-PBD 4.0%, Social Democrats 3.0%, Green Party 2.7%, Renua Ireland 2.2% independent 17.8%; seats by party - Fine Gael 50, Fianna Fail 44, Sinn Fein 23, Labor Party 7, AAA-PBP 6, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2, independent 23
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70
subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts
Political parties and leaders:
Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit or AAA-PBP [collective leadership]
Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN]
Fine Gael [Leo VARADKAR]
Green Party [Eamon RYAN]
Labor (Labour) Party [Brendan HOWLIN]
Renua Ireland [John LEAHY]
Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]
Social Democratic Party [Stephen DONNELLY, Catherine MURPHY, Roisin SHORTALL]
Socialist Party [collective leadership]
The Workers' Party [Michael DONNELLY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Continuity IRA (terrorist group)
Families Acting for Innocent Relatives or FAIR [Brian MCCONNELL] (seek compensation for victims of violence)
Iona Institute [David QUINN] (a conservative Catholic think tank)
Irish Anti-War Movement [Richard BOYD BARRETT] (campaigns against wars around the world)
Keep Ireland Open (environmental group)
Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group)
Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG [Willie ALLEN] (transportation promoters)
New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs)
Peace and Neutrality Alliance or PANA [Roger COLE] (campaigns to protect Irish neutrality)
Rail Users Ireland (formerly the Platform 11 - transportation promoters)
32 Country Sovereignty Movement or 32CSM (supports unifying Northern Ireland with the rest of the island under Irish government sovereignty)
International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel Gerard MULHALL (since 8 September 2017)
chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) Charge d'Affaires L. Reece SMYTH (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange
note: similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red
National symbol(s):
harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green
National anthem:
name: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)
lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY
note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team

Economy

Economy - overview:
Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland 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. 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 and GDP grew by 5.2%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 2.5% of GDP. 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 highest growth in the EU for two consecutive years. This dramatic increase reflected one-off statistical revisions, multinational corporate restructurings, and the aircraft leasing sector, rather than gains in the on the ground economy. Growth moderated to around 4.2% in 2016.
In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment, 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 key factors in encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to avoid taxation. In 2014, amid growing international pressure, the government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a commonly used loophole.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$325.5 billion (2016 est.)
$305.8 billion (2015 est.)
$241 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
country comparison to the world: 53
GDP (official exchange rate):
$304.4 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.1% (2016 est.)
25.5% (2015 est.)
8.3% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$69,300 (2016 est.)
$66,500 (2015 est.)
$53,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
country comparison to the world: 12
Gross national saving:
35.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
32.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
24% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption: 35.1%
government consumption: 10.3%
investment in fixed capital: 31.5%
investment in inventories: 1.1%
exports of goods and services: 121.7%
imports of goods and services: -99.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 39.3%
services: 59.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products:
barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products
Industries:
pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices
Industrial production growth rate:
3% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Labor force:
2.193 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 11%
services: 84% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate:
7.9% (2016 est.)
9.5% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Population below poverty line:
8.2% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31.3 (2013 est.)
35.9 (1987 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Budget:
revenues: $80.81 billion
expenditures: $82.5 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
27.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-0.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
Public debt:
72.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
77.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes 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 intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental 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: 46
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.2% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
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: 149
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
3.48% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.36% (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
Stock of narrow money:
$156.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$146.7 billion (31 December 2015 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: 28
Stock of broad money:
$204.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$206 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Stock of domestic credit:
$287.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$305.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
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
Current account balance:
$10.17 billion (2016 est.)
$28.97 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
Exports:
$206 billion (2016 est.)
$216.9 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products
Exports - partners:
US 26%, UK 12.7%, Belgium 12.6%, Germany 6.7%, Switzerland 5.4%, Netherlands 5.1%, France 4.2% (2016)
Imports:
$92.09 billion (2016 est.)
$94.26 billion (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
Imports - commodities:
data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Imports - partners:
UK 28.8%, US 15.9%, France 12.6%, Germany 10.1%, Netherlands 4.7% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.591 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Debt - external:
$2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.411 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.381 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.404 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.403 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)

Energy

Electricity access:
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
Electricity - production:
25.2 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Electricity - consumption:
23.79 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Electricity - exports:
1.583 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
Electricity - imports:
871 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
9.557 million kW (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
68.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
2.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
29.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Crude oil - imports:
65,390 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 129
Refined petroleum products - production:
64,310 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
151,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Refined petroleum products - exports:
31,540 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
Refined petroleum products - imports:
119,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
Natural gas - production:
132 million cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Natural gas - consumption:
5.06 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Natural gas - imports:
4.234 billion cu m (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
Natural gas - proved reserves:
9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
country comparison to the world: 84
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
34 million Mt (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 1,897,134
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 38 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
Telephones - mobile cellular:
total: 4,950,118
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: system privatized but dominated by former state monopoly operator; increasing levels of broadband access particularly in urban areas
international: country code - 353; landing point for the Hibernia-Atlantic submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, and UK; satellite earth stations - 81 (2014)
Broadcast media:
publicly owned broadcaster Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) operates 2 TV stations; commercial TV stations are available; about 75% of households utilize multi-channel satellite and TV services that provide access to a wide range of stations; RTE operates 4 national radio stations and has launched digital audio broadcasts on several stations; a number of commercial broadcast stations operate at the national, regional, and local levels (2014)
Internet country code:
.ie
Internet users:
total: 4,069,432
percent of population: 82.2% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Transportation

National air transport system:
number of registered air carriers: 6
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 431
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 113,144,501
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 138.58 million mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
EI (2016)
Airports:
40 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 105
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 24
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
Pipelines:
gas 2,147 km (2013)
Railways:
total: 3,237 km
broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (49 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2014)
country comparison to the world: 55
Roadways:
total: 96,036 km
paved: 96,036 km (includes 1,224 km of expressways) (2014)
country comparison to the world: 51
Waterways:
956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 67
Merchant marine:
total: 31
by type: cargo 28, chemical tanker 2, container 1
foreign-owned: 5 (France 2, Spain 1, US 2)
registered in other countries: 33 (Bahamas 3, Bermuda 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, Isle of Man 1, Kazakhstan 1, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 6, Netherlands 8, Panama 1, Russia 1, Slovakia 1, Sweden 1, UK 1) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 85
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Dublin, Shannon Foynes
river port(s): Cork (Lee), Waterford (Suir)
container port(s) (TEUs): Dublin (1,931,001)

Military & Security

Military expenditures:
0.34% of GDP (2016)
0.35% of GDP (2015)
0.47% of GDP (2014)
0.5% of GDP (2013)
0.51% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 126
Military branches:
Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn), Permanent Defence Forces (PDF): Army, Naval Service, Air Corps; Reserve Defence Forces (RDF): Army, Naval Service Reserves (2014)
Military service age and obligation:
18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF; 18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-28 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 18-35 years of age for the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (PDF officers), 5 years (PDF enlisted), 3 years RDF (4 years for Naval Service Reserves); EU citizenship, refugee status, or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2014)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 99 (2016)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern

Economic Indicators for Ireland including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Ireland economy.