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Press Statement


19 July 2018

Quarterly National Accounts and Balance of Payments results for Quarter 1 2018, National Income and Expenditure Results for Year 2017

GDP results for 2017 show growth of 7.2%
  • Personal consumption of goods and services, an important measure of domestic economic activity, showed an increase of 1.6% in the year
  • At current prices, GDP in 2017 stood at €294 billion
  • Modified GNI (or GNI*) recorded a level of €181 billion in 2017
  • GDP showed a small decrease of 0.6% in Quarter 1 2018
  • GNP decreased by 4.9% in the quarter
  • Balance of Payments results recorded a current account surplus of €9.6 billion in the quarter
  • The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday, 19 July 2018) published Quarterly National Accounts and Balance of Payments results for Quarter 1, 2018 and results for the Year 2017. The results also include estimates of the GNI* and the Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) indicators, recommended by the Economic Statistics Review Group (ESRG), to give users better insight into domestic economic activity.

    Assistant Director General with responsibility for Economic Statistics, Jennifer Banim, commented:

    In the annual National Income and Expenditure release, headline aggregates for 2017 are similar to initial estimates published in March 2018. GDP growth is now estimated to have been 7.2%, compared to the initial estimate of 7.8%. Personal consumption of goods and services is now showing growth of 1.6%, previously estimated at 1.9%. GNP growth in 2017 has been revised to 4.4% from 6.6%, with the change in the GNP series published today driven by the alignment of the treatment of R&D across National Accounts and Balance of Payments profits.

    Preliminary National Accounts results for Quarter 1 2018 show a small decrease of 0.6% in GDP and a decrease of 4.9% in GNP compared to Quarter 4 2017. Across the larger sectors of the economy, Information and Communication grew by 13.7% in the quarter, while Industry decreased by 9.7% in volume terms from the high levels recorded in the previous quarter. In the domestically focused sectors, Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants decreased by 1.1%, while growth in the Construction sector was flat in the quarter. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector showed a decrease of 1.6%.

    Looking at expenditure in the economy, Personal consumption of goods and services, an important measure of domestic economic activity, showed a decrease of 0.3% in Quarter 1 2018. Current expenditure by local and central government increased by 0.4%.

    Also in today’s quarterly results, the MDD indicator (an indicator of domestic demand that excludes the impact of trade in aircraft by aircraft leasing companies and trade in R&D and intellectual property) increased by 2.8% in Quarter 1 2018, while the traditional Total Domestic Demand indicator increased by 3.7%.

    In Balance of Payments results for Quarter 1 2018, the Current Account recorded a surplus of €9.6 billion in flows with the rest of the world, an increase of €4.5 billion on the Quarter 1 2017 balance. The overall growth in the surplus was driven by an increase of €2 billion in the Merchandise surplus and an improvement of €2.4 billion in the Services and Income deficit”.

    Commenting on the ESRG-recommended indicators, Ms. Banim said:

    The results include the estimates for the ESRG-recommended GNI* and MDD indicators, designed to exclude globalisation effects disproportionately affecting the Irish economic results. Following further analysis and consultation with data providers and users, amendments have been incorporated in the GNI* and MDD series published today, and the bases for the highly globalised R&D-related effects removed from GNI* and MDD indicators have been expanded. The amendments incorporated do not materially alter the underlying trends and patterns previously seen when comparing the GNI* indicator with the traditional GNI series.

    In the annual results, the transition from a GDP level of €294 billion in 2017 to a GNI* level of €181 billion is shown. GNI* is designed to be a supplementary indicator of the level or size of the Irish economy for use in ratio analysis as an alternative to GDP. For instance, in 2017, the government debt to GDP ratio stood at 68%, while the result for the equivalent debt to GNI* ratio was 111%.

    Editor's Note:

    Today’s results include revisions routinely incorporated at the time of the annual results due to the availability of more comprehensive and detailed data. The results also include the outcome of work to develop and improve the suite of macro-economic statistics available for users.

    Additional information on the developments and revisions in the results are available at:

    Information Notice - Developments and Revisions in the National Income and Expenditure 2017 and the Balance of Payments Quarter 1 2018 Results

    National Income and Expenditure 2017 Frequently Asked Questions

    For further information contact:

    Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 or Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305

    or email

    or email

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