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Press Statement


23 November 2021

Press Statement Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2020

Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard shows deterioration in economic imbalances in 2020
  • Scoreboard for 2020 shows four breaches of EU thresholds
  • Current Account Balance, Net International Investment Position, Private Sector Debt and Activity Rate all breached in 2020
  • The number of breaches has increased from three in 2019, but is down from a high of 10 breaches in 2011

Go to release: Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2020

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (23 November 2021) published Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2020, an EU wide measure of economic imbalances in member states’ economies. The Scoreboard measures a range of indicators designed to screen for potential macroeconomic imbalances in the Irish economy.

Commenting on the publication, Senior Statistician John Sheridan said: "The 2020 Macroeconomic Scoreboard shows that out of the 14 indicators screening for economic imbalances, Ireland breached four of the EU thresholds. This is down from a high of 10 breaches in 2011 but we are seeing an increased number of breaches compared to 2019.

The breaches for 2020 include activity rate at -0.8% (measured as a three-year percentage point change), which breached its threshold of -0.2% for the first time since 2012. Recurring imbalances include international investment position at -174% of GDP which again breached the EU threshold of -35%, and current account balance at -5.9% of GDP, which breached its threshold of -4%. Finally, private sector debt at 188.9% of GDP continued to breach the EU threshold of 133% this year. However, the combined total of Irish-owned debt (households and Irish non-financial corporations) was below the EU threshold, and made up less than half of total private sector debt."

The Scoreboard publication includes indicators designed to measure economic competitiveness, for example the current account balance, export market share and labour costs, and also includes indicators designed to screen for internal imbalances such as unemployment.  

The CSO’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard publication draws on sources from across the CSO and provides additional analysis on a wide range of indicators, including analysis using the CSO's modified gross national income (GNI*) and modified current account (CA*) measures.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is an annual process which the European Commission undertakes, using a scoreboard of 14 headline indicators and 28 auxiliary indicators. This screens for any macroeconomic imbalances that may occur in member states. Each of the 14 headline indicators have a threshold, set by the European Commission, beyond which economic imbalances are determined to have occurred. The financial crisis in 2008 highlighted the importance of the early detection and correction of macroeconomic imbalances across EU countries and the euro area. This led the European Commission to develop the MIP which came into force in December 2011 as part of the 'six pack' of legislative acts, which strengthens the monitoring of macroeconomic policies in the EU and the euro area.

The CSO produces Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard publication in line with the European Commission’s report, to provide further insight and analysis on the range of indicators for Ireland.

For further information contact:

John Sheridan or Christina Feeney (+353) 1 498 4258

or email

or email

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