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GDP and Growth Rates

GDP and Growth Rates

GDP grew by 13.6% in 2021 driven by strong upturn in multinational dominated sectors

Online ISSN: 2811-5724
CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Table 1.1 GDP and GNP Growth Rates
 20202021% change
GDP at current prices €372,836m€426,283m14.3%
GDP at constant (2020) prices €372,836m€423,498m13.6%
GNP at current prices €279,569m€322,688m15.4%
GNP at constant (2020) prices €279,569m€320,775m14.7%

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 13.6% in 2021 while gross national product (GNP) rose by 14.7%. These updated results are similar to the preliminary 2021 estimates published in March 2022 which showed GDP increasing by 13.5% and GNP increasing by 11.5%.


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The estimates in this publication use more complete data than were available for the Q4 2021 estimates and updates include weaker results for the Industry sector, but stronger results in Information & Communication, Financial & Insurance Activities and Professional, Administration & Support Services.

These results are compiled in accordance with the latest EU standard framework, ESA 2010. For more information on our main national accounts aggregates, including data per head of population and per person in employment, see Table 1.2 Main Aggregates.


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Figure 1.2 shows the levels of GDP, GNP and GNI for these internationally comparable measures. More details are available in Table 1.2, including current prices and constant prices as well as per head of population and per person in employment.

Our modified measures for domestic policy purposes are contained in chapter 2 - GNI* and De-Globalised Results.

Agriculture, Forestry & FishingIndustry (excl. Construction)ConstructionDistribution, Transport, Hotels & RestaurantsInformation & CommunicationFinancial & Insurance ActivitiesReal Estate ActivitiesProfessional, Admin & Support ServicesPublic Admin, Education & HealthArts, Entertainment & Other Services

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Figure 1.3 shows the contributions of each activity to growth from 2020 to 2021. Industry, Information & Communication and Financial & Insurance activities had a strong positive contribution to growth in 2021 while Construction was the one sector showing a decline in 2021. More details on activity breakdowns of the data are available in Chapters 3 to 7, covering GDP by Incomes and GDP by Producers.

Personal Consumption of Goods & ServicesNet Expenditure by Central & Local GovernmentGross Domestic Fixed Capital FormationValue of Physical Changes in StocksNet ExportsGDP

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On the Expenditure side of the accounts, exports remained strong in 2021 with growth of 14.1% recorded. Imports decreased by 8.3% largely due to lower imports of intellectual property. The result is an increase in net exports of more than €106bn in 2021 over 2020.

Headline investment decreased by just over 37% in 2021. This is predominantly due to a decrease in purchases of intellectual property with investment in research and development down from €112bn to €46bn. These transactions are largely GDP neutral because of an offsetting decrease in imports. For more information see Chapter 8, GDP by Expenditures and Chapter 11, Investment.

Investment in Dwellings increased marginally in 2021, from €7.4bn to €7.5bn, while investment in Other Machinery & Equipment increased from €5.3bn to €8.9bn. This reflects a return to office by workers post COVID-19 along with continuing investment in datacentres by MNE’s. For more information see Investment.

Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), a measure of consumer spending on goods and services, increased by 4.6% in 2021, with the largest growth seen in a return to spending in Restaurants & Hotels along with Clothing & Footwear. This publication includes new enhanced personal consumption data with increased product detail, see Personal Spending.

For government consumption, Net Expenditure by Central & Local Government on Current Goods & Services rose by 6.5% in 2021 when compared to 2020, largely related to continued spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Table 1.2 Main Aggregates, 2016-2021

Table 1.3 Annual Percentage Changes in Main Aggregates, Deflators and the Consumer Price Index