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Key Findings

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

Online ISSN: 2811-5724
CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 13.6% in 2021 driven by strong upturn in multinational dominated sectors (for more see GDP and Growth Rates)

  • Multinational dominated sectors grew by 20.7% in 2021 with all other sectors increasing by 4.8% (for more see Gross Value Added by Activity)

  • Exports grew by 14.1% in 2021 while lower imports of Intellectual Property Products (IPP) drove a decrease of 8.3% in overall imports (for more see GDP by Expenditures)

  • 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 (for more see GDP by Expenditures and Personal Spending)

Statistician's Comment

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. GNP - a measure of economic activity that excludes the profits of multi-nationals - 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 compared to 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."