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Press Statement


15 July 2022

Annual National Accounts Results for Year 2021 (ANA 2021); Updated Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts Quarter 1 2022

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 13.6% in 2021 driven by strong upturn in multinational-dominated sectors
  • Multinational-dominated sectors grew by 20.7% in 2021 with all other sectors increasing by 4.8%
  • Exports grew by 14.1% in 2021 while lower imports of Intellectual Property Products (IPP) drove a decrease of 8.3% in overall imports
  • Personal Consumption of Goods and Services, a key measure of domestic economic activity, increased by 4.6% in the year, reflecting the impact of the easing of the COVID-19 related restrictions on household spending
  • Modified Domestic Demand, a broad measure of underlying domestic activity that covers personal, government and investment spending, increased by 5.8% in 2021
  • In Balance of Payments results, a Current Account surplus of €60.7 billion was recorded in 2021 while the modified Current Account balance (CA*) - which excludes globalisation effects - recorded a surplus of €26.0 billion
  • For Quarter 1 2022, the updated estimate for GDP growth is 6.3%

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (15 July 2022) published updated Quarterly National Accounts and International Accounts results for Quarter 1 2022 and Annual National Accounts (ANA) results for the year 2021. Today’s results include revisions routinely incorporated at this time as more comprehensive and detailed data is available.

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

“In the Annual National Accounts results, GDP is estimated to have grown by 13.6% in 2021, driven significantly by a 14.1% increase in Exports of Goods and Services. Gross National Product (GNP) - a measure of economic activity that excludes the profits of multinationals - grew by 14.7% in the year.

The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions led to higher levels of economic activity in 2021 for many of the sectors focused on the domestic market. Finance & Insurance increased by 17.8% in the year, Real Estate activities by 6.6% while the Distribution, Transport, Hotels & Restaurants sector increased by 3.8%. However, the Construction sector contracted by 3.1%.

Growth in the globalised Industry (excl. Construction) sector expanded by 21.4% in 2021 compared with 2020 while the Information & Communication sector increased by 16.1% in the year. Overall, multinational-dominated sector growth was 20.7% and in 2021, these sectors accounted for 53.0% of total value added in the economy, compared with a 49.5% share in 2020 and a 42.5% share in 2019.

Looking at expenditure in the economy, Government spending on goods and services increased by 6.5% in 2021, while personal spending on goods and services (the PCE indicator) increased by 4.6% in the year, reflecting the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions on consumer spending. Examining PCE constant price levels over the past three years, personal spending reached €104.5 billion in 2021, a recovery when compared with the result in 2020 of €99.9 billion, but 6.8% lower than the €112.1 billion pre-pandemic level of spending in 2019. PCE accounted for 24.7% of GDP in 2021, down from 26.8% of GDP in 2020 and 31.9% in 2019.”

Commenting on the impact of globalisation and the indicators of underlying domestic activity, Ms. Banim said:

“Today’s results include estimates for GNI*, the indicator designed to exclude globalisation effects that disproportionately impact Irish economic results. In the ANA results, the transition in current prices from a GDP level of €426.3 billion in 2021 to a GNI* level of €233.9 billion is shown. In constant prices, GNI* expanded by 15.4% in the year.

Net National Income (NNI), an important indicator of underlying or de-globalised activity from the National Accounts framework that closely mirrors the GNI* series stood at €211.4 billion in current prices in 2021. Between 2020 and 2021, NNI at constant prices rose by 20.4%.

Modified Domestic Demand (MDD) – a modified measure of personal, government and investment spending – increased by 5.8% in 2021. MDD is an important measure of underlying demand and excludes the globalisation effects of trade in Intellectual Property Products (IPP) and trade in aircraft by leasing companies from the standard Final Domestic Demand measure.

In International Accounts results, the Current Account of the Balance of Payments recorded a surplus of €60.7 billion in flows with the rest of the world in 2021, an improvement of €86.2 billion compared with the deficit of €25.5 billion in 2020, driven by higher merchandise and service exports and lower imports of IPP. The improvement of €72.3 billion in the Services balance between 2020 and 2021 reflects the lower levels of IPP imports in 2021. In comparison, the modified Current Account balance, or CA*, which excludes the impact of re-domiciled companies, aircraft leasing companies and IPP, recorded a surplus of €26.0 billion in the year. Multinational profit net outflows were €86.6 billion in the year, an increase of €14.2 billion on 2020 levels.”

On the revised Quarter 1 2022 results, Gordon Cavanagh, Statistician in the National Accounts Division, further commented:

“Updated results for Quarter 1 2022 show GDP increasing by 6.3% compared with Quarter 4 2021. Factor income outflows were €9.8 billion higher than in the previous quarter, leading to an overall decline in GNP of 3.6% when compared with the previous quarter.

The continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions varied in impact across the sectors of the economy in Quarter 1 2022. In most sectors, growth continued with the globalised Industry sector (excl. Construction) growing by 7.9% in the quarter. However, the Information & Communication sector was broadly unchanged compared with Q4 2021, increasing by a modest 0.1% quarter-on-quarter. Sectors focused on the domestic market experienced mixed effects in the quarter, with the Finance & Insurance sector expanding by 2.7%, Construction increasing by 0.3%, and the Distribution, Transport, Hotels & Restaurants sector contracting by 0.9%.

Looking at expenditure in the economy, personal spending decreased by 1.3% in the quarter. Investment in capital formation decreased by 45.7% in the quarter explained by a fall in investment in IPP when compared to Q4 2021. The MDD indicator decreased by 1.0% in Quarter 1 2022.”

For further information contact:

Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305 or John Sheridan (+353) 1 498 4258

or email

or email

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