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Press Statement

Preasráiteas

11 July 2019

Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts results for Quarter 1 2019; National Income and Expenditure Results for Year 2018

GDP grew by 8.2% in 2018
  • Personal Consumption of Goods and Services, a key measure of domestic economic activity, increased by 3.4% in the year
  • At current prices, the level of GDP in 2018 stood at €324 billion
  • GNI* recorded a level of €197 billion in 2018
  • In Quarter 1 2019, GDP grew by 2.4% and GNP grew by 3.0%
  • The Balance of Payments Current Account recorded a surplus of €11.0 billion in transactions with the rest of the world in Quarter 1 2019
  • The Current Account balance with the UK showed a deficit of €1.6 billion in the quarter

18 July 2019 Errata

This press statement was updated to correct the GNP percentage growth rate for Quarter 1 2019.
Please see Quarterly National Accounts Q1 2019 release for further information.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday 11 July 2019) published Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts results for Quarter 1, 2019 and National Income and Expenditure (NIE) results for the year 2018. Today’s results include revisions routinely incorporated at this time of the year due to the availability of more comprehensive and detailed data. 

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

“In the annual National Income and Expenditure results, GDP is estimated to have grown by 8.2% in 2018, driven by a 10.4% increase in Exports of Goods and Services. GNP - a measure of economic activity that excludes the profits of multi-nationals - grew by 6.5% in the year. Personal Consumption of Goods and Services, an important indicator of domestic economic activity, grew by 3.4% in 2018.

Capital formation decreased by 21.1% in 2018, partly due to lower levels of Intellectual Property Products (IPP), but because of the offsetting lower levels of IPP imports, this reduction in intangible investment had an overall neutral impact on GDP in the year.

Across the MNE-dominated sectors of the economy, Information and Communication grew by 21.2% in 2018, while in the domestically focused sectors, the Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants sector increased by 6.6%.

Preliminary National Accounts results for Quarter 1 2019 show an increase of 2.4% in GDP and an increase of 3.0% in GNP compared to Quarter 4 2018.  In the larger sectors of the economy, Industry grew by 0.4% in volume terms, while Information and Communication grew by 11.5% in the quarter. In the sectors driven by domestic activity, Construction showed growth of 5.6% in Quarter 1 2019 while the Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants sector showed a small decrease of 0.1%. 

Looking at expenditure in the economy in Quarter 1 2019, Personal Consumption of Goods and Services showed an increase of 0.9%, while current expenditure by Local and Central Government increased by 0.5%.  Exports of Goods and Services grew by 1.0% in the quarter.

Elsewhere in today’s quarterly results, the Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) indicator showed an increase of 1.6% in Quarter 1 2019. The MDD indicator, a recommendation of the Economic Statistics Review Group (ESRG), is designed to give better insight into Irish domestic economic activity and excludes the globalisation effects of trade in aircraft by aircraft leasing companies, imports of R&D services and trade in IPP. The traditional Total Domestic Demand indicator – which is impacted by these globalisation activities – decreased by 0.3% in Quarter 1 2019, partly due to a decrease in R&D-related intangibles in the quarter.

In International Accounts results, the Current Account of the Balance of Payments recorded a surplus of €11.0 billion in flows with the rest of the world in Quarter 1 2019, a small decrease on the €11.3 billion surplus recorded in Quarter 1 2018. Looking at the detailed trade in services results, exports of Computer Services increased by €5.7 billion in Quarter 1 2019 compared with Quarter 1 2018.

The International Accounts also include Balance of Payments Current Account transactions with the UK and the results show a surplus of €1.4 billion for Trade in Goods and Services with the UK in Quarter 1 2019. This trade surplus was offset by a deficit of €2.9 billion in income flows, giving an overall Current Account deficit of €1.6 billion with the UK in the quarter”.

Commenting on the GNI* indicator, Ms. Banim said:

“Today’s results include estimates for GNI*, an indicator designed to exclude globalisation effects disproportionately impacting Irish economic results. In the annual NIE results, the transition from a GDP level of €324 billion in 2018 to a GNI* level of €197 billion is shown.  

GNI* is designed to be a supplementary indicator of the level (or size) of the Irish economy for use as an alternative to GDP in ratio analysis. For instance, in 2018, the ratio of General Government Gross Debt (April 2019 estimate) to GDP stood at 64%, while the result for the equivalent debt to GNI* ratio was 104%.”  

For further information contact:

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

or email nat_acc@cso.ie

or email bop@cso.ie

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