16 November 2018
The latest statement of accounts for the Irish economy shows the household sector spending more and saving more in 2017, as total income grew by 6% in the year. Households had gross savings of €11 billion from income of €103 billion in the year. This saving was used to buy new homes, pay off debt and increase deposits. The key debt-to-income indicator fell to 133% from a peak of 209% in 2009, helped by both the growth in incomes and the repayment of loans.
Commenting on the results, Senior Statistician Michael Connolly said: "These results provide the most balanced in-depth statistics available about the Irish economy. They are a top-to-bottom account of the transactions and balance sheets which give valuable insights into the structures and trends in the economic life of the country."
The figures show government debt also declined in recent years and is now €11 billion less than its peak in 2013. The debt-to-GDP ratio for government also fell and now stands at 74%, which is still above the European alert level of 60%.
The private sector debt was also over the European threshold, with debt for non-financial corporations standing at 196% of GDP. These corporations are steadily unwinding large loans and are growing their profits each year. While the corporate sector is dominated by large multinationals, the breakdown in these Sector Accounts shows domestic corporations have been expanding their profits and payroll each year since the recession ended.
The accounts show that Ireland's financial balance sheet grew to €7.4 trillion in 2017. Two-thirds of this relates to financial corporations. Investment funds have continued to grow their assets here, while the banking element of the financial sector is continuing to retrench.
Overall, the figures show movement in a positive direction for most sectors.
Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 or Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305
or email email@example.com
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