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Press Statement


06 March 2020

Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts Quarter 4 2019 and Year 2019 (Preliminary)

Preliminary results for Year 2019
  • GDP increased by 5.5% in 2019
  • GNP increased by 3.3% in the year
  • Capital Investment, driven by Intellectual Property Products (IPP), rose by €69.8 billion during 2019 compared with 2018
  • Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), a key indicator of underlying domestic activity, grew by 2.8% in 2019

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Friday, 6 March 2020) published Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts results for Quarter 4, 2019 and preliminary results for the Year 2019.

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

“Preliminary results for 2019 show an increase of 5.5% in GDP and an increase of 3.3% in GNP compared with 2018.

Almost all sectors of the economy recorded growth in 2019. Across the larger sectors, Industry grew by 4.0% in volume terms while Information & Communication grew by 18.5%. In the domestically driven sectors, Construction recorded growth of 5.8% in the year while Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants grew by 1.7%. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector saw growth of 24.3% in the year.

When we look at the expenditure side of the economy in 2019, we see that:
• Investment amounted to €144.5 billion in 2019, an increase of €69.8 billion in the year, driven by increased imports of Intellectual Property Products (IPP). It’s important to note that the overall impact of IPP is neutral on GDP as their addition to the capital stock is offset by the corresponding imports recorded for these products;
• Exports of Goods and Services grew by 11.1% while total Imports of Goods and Services showed an increase of 35.6% (largely driven by IPP);
• Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) rose by 2.8%. The domestically focused PCE indicator measures spending by individuals on goods and services and accounted for over 30% of all economic activity in 2019;
• As a result of the increases in spending and high levels of IPP investment, Final Domestic Demand (FDD) - an aggregate of personal and government expenditure and spending on capital investment - increased by 35.3% in the year. In comparison, Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) increased by 3.0%. The MDD indicator excludes globalisation effects such as trade in IPP and trade in aircraft by leasing companies and is an important indicator of underlying demand in 2019.

In Quarter 4, 2019, GDP increased by 1.8% compared to Quarter 3, 2019, while GNP grew by 2.3%. Capital Investment increased by €26.6 billion in the quarter compared with the previous quarter, driven largely by investment in IPP, while Personal Consumption of Goods and Services was broadly unchanged quarter-on-quarter.”

Commenting on the results for the International Accounts for 2019, Jennifer Banim continues:

“In the International Accounts for 2019, the Current Account recorded a deficit of €32.8 billion in flows with the rest of the world, compared with a surplus of €34.3 billion in 2018. Driving the deficit in the 2019 Current Account balance was an additional €70.3 billion in imports of IPP in the year.

Today’s International Accounts publication includes a table of Current Account transactions with the UK. The results show a surplus of €8.5 billion for Trade in goods and services with the UK in 2019. The trade surplus was offset by a deficit of €13.6 billion for income flows, giving an overall Current Account deficit of €5.1 billion with the UK in the year.

In the Balance of Payments results for Quarter 4, 2019, the Current Account recorded a deficit of €28.4 billion in flows with the rest of the world, compared with a surplus of €979 million in Quarter 4, 2018. The change in the overall balance was driven by an increase in IPP imports and we see imports of Business Services increasing to €62.3 billion in the quarter compared to €24.7 billion in Quarter 4, 2018. We also observed continued strong growth in exports of computer services, now worth over €32 billion in the quarter.”

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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