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External Imbalances

Indicator 1: Current Account Balance

Current Account Balance (% GDP, 3 yr avg)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
2009-5.86-4
2010-46-4
2011-2.56-4
2012-2.16-4
2013-1.26-4
2014-0.36-4
20152.36-4
20160.46-4
20170.26-4
20182.36-4

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2019

Get the dataStatBank BPA15 (Current Account), StatBank N1805 (Gross Domestic Product)

The current account balance is mainly driven by exports less imports, although it also includes net income and current transfers in and out of Ireland, as shown in the CSO note on Trends in Net Factor Income. As part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP), the current account balance is expressed as a percentage of GDP and presented as a three year average. A positive current account balance usually indicates that exports are greater than imports and vice versa. From 2009 to 2014, Ireland ran a current account deficit (measured as a three year average) and breached the lower MIP threshold in 2009 and 2010. The value of this indicator increased year on year from 2010-2015. A surplus was recorded in 2015 as a result of the relocation of companies to Ireland and their associated contract manufacturing exports. The modest surpluses in 2016 and 2017 were mainly due to increased R&D related IP imports in those years. While a strong surplus resumed in 2018 due to lower R&D related IP imports combined with increased computer service exports.

Supplementary analysis:

Current Account Balance (% GDP, 3 yr avg)Modified Current Account Balance (CA*) (% GDP, 3 yr avg)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
2009-5.8-56-4
2010-4-4.16-4
2011-2.5-2.56-4
2012-2.1-2.46-4
2013-1.2-1.86-4
2014-0.3-1.16-4
20152.30.66-4
20160.41.56-4
20170.22.26-4
20182.32.86-4
Show Table: Table 2.1 Modified Current Account Balance CA*, 2009-2018 (% of GDP, 3 year average)

Source publication: Modified Current Account Balance for Ireland

A new measure of Irish domestic economic activity was requested by the CSO’s Economic Statistics Review Group (ESRG) due to the recent difficulty of interpreting gross domestic product (GDP). This was mainly due to the impact on GDP of mobile international assets and global firms redomiciling their headquarters to Ireland. The development of a modified current balance, CA*, has been the CSO’s response concerning the balance of payments (BOP) data. CA* is the current account balance (CA) adjusted as follows:

CA* = CA less (depreciation on R&D service imports and trade in IP + aircraft leasing depreciation + redomiciled incomes + R&D related IP exports) adding back (net aircraft related to leasing + R&D related IP imports + R&D service imports)

Because it is borne by foreign investors, the depreciation of foreign-owned capital (such as trade in IP and aircraft leasing) is excluded from, and thus does not affect, CA*. The retained earnings of redomiciled firms are predominantly owned by foreign investors and are not taken into account by CA* either. Finally, some firms borrow money abroad to finance their investment by purchasing IP from their parent company. In the long-term, this debt is repaid from the profit on the IP or the aircraft being leased. This borrowing is not a liability of residents of Ireland and the purchase of this IP is excluded when deriving CA*.

As part of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP), both CA and CA* are expressed as a three-year average in terms of a percentage of GDP. From the above figure we can observe that from 2012 to 2015, CA* was lower than CA. This difference is mainly due to the increase of redomiciled incomes. The decrease in the current account from 2015 (2.3%) to 2016 (0.4%) changed to an increase for CA* between 2015 (0.6%) and 2016 (1.5%). In 2017, a value of 2.2% for CA* was observed, compared to 0.2% for CA and in 2018 CA* stood at 2.8% compared to a value of 2.3% for CA. The increase in the current account balance from 2017 (€1,457m) to 2018 (€34,292m), mainly due to the reduction of R&D related IP imports has reduced the gap between CA and CA*. Note that CA* as a percentage of GNI* would show a similar trend to that of CA* as a percentage of GDP, but with movements of slightly greater magnitude since GNI* is a smaller aggregate. More information on the modified current account balance can be found here.

Indicator 2: International Investment Position

Net IIP (% GDP)MIP Threshold
2009-115.656110193356-35
2010-113.527942237406-35
2011-139.3-35
2012-137.760952811726-35
2013-133.449473015352-35
2014-164.700727541274-35
2015-198.414267209941-35
2016-171.665852959992-35
2017-167.215898530155-35
2018-165.036411870129-35
Show Table: Table 2.2 Net International Investment Position, 2009-2018 (% of GDP)

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2019

Get the data: StatBank BPQ26 (IIP), StatBank N1805 (GDP)

The net IIP is calculated as the value of financial assets of residents of an economy that are claims on non-residents, and gold bullion held as reserve assets, less the liabilities of residents of an economy to non-residents

Ireland's net IIP as a percentage of GDP has breached the MIP threshold in every year shown in the series above.

Supplementary analysis:

General GovernmentCentral BankMonetary Financial InstitutionsNon-Financial CorporationsOther SectorsNet IIPMIP Threshold
2012-61.5991031888878-44.4095099468679-0.554515569593726-66.727376095081235.5295519887043-137.760952811726-35
2013-60.3422934273698-28.5807880291616-6.67877688831504-66.057343013895228.2097283433893-133.449473015352-35
2014-67.7426612229187-8.80126486692844-1.30526595647048-98.239082822503411.387547327547-164.700727541274-35
2015-50.36382476478420.9641188359851134.60329014363986-165.20549431357411.5876428887923-198.414267209941-35
2016-45.89967837530042.175085475027248.80479809821994-158.82785987666722.081801718728-171.665852959992-35
2017-41.3695196899623.7831627833031413.5288071044134-150.3882109771367.2298622492268-167.215898530155-35
2018-38.41650755901737.4409953863656115.8971639881187-141.94437728517-8.01368640042652-165.036411870129-35
Show Table: Table 2.3 Breakdown of Net International Investment Position, 2012-2018 (% of GDP)

Get the data: StatBank BPQ22 (IIP), StatBank N1805 (GDP)

Figure 2.4 and Table 2.3 above show the contribution of various sectors to the Net IIP as a percentage of GDP. Non-financial corporations contribute the most in every year and their contribution to the net IIP has more than doubled between 2012 and 2015, mainly due to the non-resident financing of domestic intellectual property. Further information on this is contained in the CSO's National Balance Sheet publication. The contribution of general government to the net international investment position has fallen from a high of -67.7% in 2014 to -38.4% in 2018.

Competitiveness Indicators

Indicator 3: Real Effective Exchange Rate

REERUpper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
20095.25-5
2010-5.45-5
2011-9.65-5
2012-12.25-5
2013-3.85-5
2014-3.65-5
2015-6.45-5
2016-7.15-5
2017-6.35-5
20182.35-5

Get the data: Eurostat database

The real effective exchange rate (REER) is a country’s exchange rate relative to a basket of exchange rates of other countries weighted according to their respective trade shares. A change in it, therefore, aims to assess a country's price or cost competitiveness relative to its principal competitors in international markets. A positive value indicates real appreciation and a loss of country competitiveness relative to principal trading partners. A negative value indicates improving country competitiveness relative to its principal trading partners. Changes in cost and price competitiveness depend on cost and price trends as well as exchange rate movements. This specific REER for the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure is deflated by the consumer price indices relative to a panel of 42 countries. The three year percentage change in the REER estimate for 2009, at 5.2%, breached the upper MIP threshold. From 2010 to 2012, the lower MIP threshold of -5% was breached, followed by a recovery period during 2013 and 2014. Since then, the indicator breached the lower threshold each year until 2018. The three year percentage change in REER for 2018, at 2.3%, neither breached the upper nor the lower threshold.

Supplementary analysis:

IrelandEU28GermanyNetherlandsUnited KingdomUnited States
20095.25.407142857142862.92.7-19.9-4.75458164596101
2010-5.4-0.0107142857142856-3.8-1.5-20.4-4.66485705258032
2011-9.6-2.52142857142857-4.9-2.4-7.8-5.41152491116528
2012-12.2-4.28928571428571-9-66-6.99772739974653
2013-3.8-0.721428571428572-1.80.53.4-2.46579679770311
2014-3.6-0.635714285714286-0.40.710.14.37418827443337
2015-6.4-1.42857142857143-1.5-0.910.712.827164409957
2016-7.1-2.1-2.1-2.30.217.2152826909562
2017-6.3-2.00357142857143-2-1.8-10.815.0079928048933
20182.32.989285714285715.33.2-132.82259155960985

Get the data: Eurostat databaseWorld Bank database

The pattern of Ireland’s REER has been similar to other Euro area countries and to the EU-28 average. However, it has been different to those of the United Kingdom and the USA where other currencies are in circulation. It is important to note that data on the USA is calculated in a different way to Eurostat and therefore is not fully comparable. The indicator for the USA is computed using data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, as a three year percentage change.

REER (3 yr % change)Upper MIP ThresholdLower MIP Threshold
United Kingdom-135-5
Sweden-45-5
Romania-0.75-5
Poland0.15-5
Cyprus1.85-5
Hungary25-5
Slovenia25-5
Ireland2.35-5
Slovakia2.55-5
Denmark2.65-5
Finland35-5
Portugal3.15-5
Netherlands3.25-5
Italy3.35-5
Luxembourg3.35-5
Greece3.65-5
Bulgaria3.95-5
Spain4.15-5
Croatia4.25-5
France4.55-5
Austria4.85-5
Latvia4.95-5
Malta4.95-5
Germany5.35-5
Lithuania6.45-5
Belgium6.95-5
Estonia7.75-5
Czechia115-5

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.7 shows the EU-28 three year percentage changes in REER values for 2018. Ireland has the 8th lowest percentage change in REER value, with the United Kingdom and Czechia experiencing the lowest and highest changes, respectively.

Indicator 4: Export Market Share

Export Market Share (5 yr % change)MIP Threshold
20091.85-6
2010-6.27-6
2011-10.29-6
2012-18.34-6
2013-10.57-6
2014-14.64-6
201537.84-6
201658.59-6
201771.33-6
201877.37-6

Source publication: International Accounts Q2 2019

Get the data: Eurostat database

The export market share is calculated by dividing the exports of the country by the total exports of the world. For a country to increase its export market share its exports must increase at a faster rate than world exports. As a result a country’s exports may increase but its export market share may still fall. To capture the structural losses in competitiveness that can accumulate over longer time periods, this indicator is calculated as the percentage change in values compared to five years previously.

Ireland experienced a negative export market share (taken as a five year percentage change), and breached the MIP threshold, each year from 2010 to 2014. This equates to a decrease in Ireland's export market share relative to total world exports. This trend changed in 2015, when the indicator value rose to 37.8%. The change largely relates to the amount of contract manufacturing carried out on behalf of Irish companies. The rise in contract manufacturing has led to the increase in goods exports from Irish companies, and is explained in the Contract Manufacturing Information Notice (PDF 516KB) published by the CSO. The export market share indicator continued to rise between 2015 and 2018, and stood at 77.4% in 2018.

Supplementary analysis:

Export Market Share (5 yr % change)MIP Threshold
Sweden-6.32-6
United Kingdom-3.75-6
Finland-3-6
Denmark-1.5-6
Belgium-1.46-6
France-0.16-6
Italy0.27-6
Estonia0.75-6
Netherlands1.68-6
Germany3.11-6
Slovakia3.2-6
Lithuania3.49-6
Austria3.92-6
Spain4.61-6
Greece6.85-6
Hungary8.44-6
Latvia8.63-6
Portugal9.41-6
Luxembourg10.68-6
Czechia11.9-6
Bulgaria13.38-6
Cyprus16.57-6
Slovenia20.41-6
Croatia22.94-6
Romania23.72-6
Malta23.97-6
Poland25.75-6
Ireland77.37-6

Get the data: Eurostat database

Ireland had the highest increase in export market share in the EU in 2018, at 77.4%. As this indicator is calculated as a five year percentage change, this figure continues to reflect the large year on year increase of 40.6% seen in 2015.

IrelandChinaGermanyNetherlandsUnited KingdomMIP Threshold
20091.8548.4521650536475-6.83-5.39-19.79-6
2010-6.2742.5211954166577-8.11-8.15-23.9-6
2011-10.2934.6001431371978-9.35-8.35-25.92-6
2012-18.3431.7390464904745-16.75-12.82-21.25-6
2013-10.5733.3594781669528-12.99-11.34-11.62-6
2014-14.6431.1245290539077-9.53-11.35-9.19-6
201537.8430.5136948611807-3.18-6.742.71-6
201658.5917.86206521797782-2.961.09-6
201771.3310.99386499597285.731.52-1.18-6
201877.375.568453197188023.111.68-3.75-6

Get the data: Eurostat databaseWorld Bank database

Figure 2.10 shows Ireland’s change in export market share relative to three of its largest EU trading partners and China. From 2010-2014 Ireland and the other EU countries show an export market share below the MIP threshold. Conversely, China’s change in export market share is relatively high from 2009-2015, declining significantly after 2015 to stand at 5.6% in 2018. Note that the country comparison data is sourced from Eurostat, with the exception of the data for China which is from the World Development Indicators compiled by the World Bank.

Indicator 5: Nominal Unit Labour Cost

Nominal Unit Labour Cost (3 yr % change)MIP Threshold
20098.79
2010-4.89
2011-13.79
2012-9.99
2013-0.79
2014-3.79
2015-18.69
2016-17.79
2017-15.49
2018-2.89

Source publication: National Income & Expenditure Annual, 2018

Get the data: StatBank N1802 (Employee Compensation/Total Labour Costs), StatBank QLF17 (Number of Employees), StatBank N1804 (Gross Domestic Product)

The nominal unit labour cost is an index computed using the ratio of labour costs (compensation per employee) to labour productivity (GDP per person employed, including self-employed).

A rise in an economy’s nominal unit labour cost corresponds to an increase in labour costs relative to labour productivity, resulting in lower competitiveness. The Macroeconomic Scoreboard indicator is presented as a three year percentage change.

In 2009, Ireland’s three year percentage change in nominal unit labour costs stood at 8.7%, just below the MIP threshold of 9%. However in 2010, due to the impact of the financial crisis, nominal unit labour costs decreased, leading to increased competitiveness in the Irish economy. In 2018, the three year change in Ireland’s nominal unit labour cost indicator was -2.8%. Note that values of this indicator in 2015-2017 were substantially affected by the level-shift in GDP in 2015.

Supplementary analysis:

Nominal Unit Labour Cost (3 yr % change)Labour Productivity (3 yr % change)Labour Cost (3 yr % change)MIP Threshold
20098.70.9474838468997029.404623461800729
2010-4.86.488051475673431.829145400022499
2011-13.712.9158416030485-2.114003864482319
2012-9.99.72461670831561-1.310121457489899
2013-0.71.287530189136120.555905890656719
2014-3.74.710906275242630.9150130932525939
2015-18.625.8679735708452.43543917220869
2016-17.728.0212423830145.085578515122089
2017-15.427.20004109532987.018276202896119
2018-2.810.52755496415026.904981066660459

Get the data: Eurostat (Compensation of Employees), StatBank N1802 (Employee Compensation/Total Labour Costs), StatBank ESQ05 (Number of Employees), StatBank N1804 (Gross Domestic Product)

Breaking nominal unit labour cost into its two components shows the interrelationship between labour costs and productivity. In 2009, labour costs rose at a faster rate than labour productivity compared to their respective levels three years previously (Figure 2.12). This caused overall increases in nominal unit labour costs. Since 2010 the three year changes in labour costs were continually lower than those in labour productivity. From 2015 onwards, labour productivity increased at a significantly faster rate than labour costs thereby increasing overall economic competitiveness. Labour productivity increases since 2015 were mainly due to the large increase in GDP in 2015.

Internal Indicators

Indicator 6: Deflated House Price Index

Deflated House Price Index (annual % change)MIP Threshold
2009-13.76
2010-11.66
2011-17.96
2012-14.66
2013-0.16
201415.56
201510.86
20167.16
20179.86
20188.36

Source publication: Residential Property Price Index, August 2019

Get the data: StatBank HPA06 (Residential Property Price Index), StatBank N1805 (Consumption at Current Market Prices by Item and Year), StatBank N1806 (Consumption at Constant Market Prices by Item and Year)

The deflated house price index is the ratio between the residential property price index and the national accounts deflator for private final consumption expenditure for households. This year-on-year percentage change indicator measures inflation in the housing market relative to inflation in the final consumption expenditure of households. The national accounts deflator for private final consumption expenditure is obtained by dividing final consumption expenditure of households at current market prices (79a) by final consumption expenditure of households at constant market prices (92a). The deflated house price index is then calculated by dividing the house price index by this deflator.

From 2009 to 2013, Ireland experienced decreases in the deflated house price index (Figure 2.13), following the financial crisis. Since 2014, Ireland has seen increases in the deflated house price index and has consistently breached the MIP threshold of 6%. These increases suggest inflation of the Irish housing market relative to the final consumption of households. In 2018, the annual percentage change in the deflated price index was 8.3%, down 1.5% from the 2017 value of 9.8%.

Deflated House Price Index (annual % change)Excluding DublinDublinMIP Threshold
2009-13.6-10.9-19.36
2010-11.6-10-15.26
2011-17.9-18.6-16.96
2012-14.5-16.3-12.86
2013-0.2-8.18.46
201415.46.822.96
201510.912.59.46
20167.19.64.86
20179.8118.36
20188.310.16.76

Get the data: StatBank HPA06 (Residential Property Price Index), StatBank N1805 (Consumption at Current Market Prices by Item and Year), StatBank N1806 (Consumption at Constant Market Prices by Item and Year)

Figure 2.14 shows a comparison of the year-on-year deflated house price index between Dublin and the rest of the country. In 2009 and 2010, Dublin experienced a greater rate of house price index deflation compared to the rest of the country. Similarly, as house prices began to recover from the great recession, in 2013 and 2014 the rate of house price index inflation was faster for Dublin than the rest of the country. From 2015 onwards both prices of property within and outside Dublin increased, however, the prices outside Dublin increased at a faster rate than prices in Dublin.

Indicator 7: Private Sector Credit Flow

Private Sector Credit Flow (% GDP)MIP Threshold
2009-4.5461233936053614
20102.2232785122302214
201116.453796904069314
2012-0.50050492476755714
2013-1.3704692018012214
20142.5527583465473714
2015-2.3358468577100814
2016-15.716417820836514
20170.17061156117927414
2018-7.7587329184679414

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2018

Get the data: StatBank IFI04

Private sector credit flow represents the net amount of liabilities (loans and debt securities) which non-financial corporations (NFCs, S.11), households (S.14) and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH, S.15) have incurred during the year. Transactions between units within each sector are eliminated to produce a consolidated presentation. The indicator is expressed as a percentage of GDP.

Figure 2.15 shows that, aside from 2011, the indicator has been below the MIP threshold since 2009. The threshold breach in 2011 was caused principally by refinancing operations of large multinational groups during this period. In 2018, private sector credit flows decreased by €25.6bn over the 2017 level, standing at -7.8% of GDP – well below the MIP threshold of 14%.

Supplementary analysis:

Non Financial CorporationsHouseholdsTotal
2009-5.71931608503375-2.01366476523815-7.7329808502719
201013.5475085213224-9.81835238612053.72915613520191
201136.9587721037702-8.8512459229457828.1075261808244
20126.44057482644405-7.317037322579-0.876462496134952
20132.100474776747-4.56267696487747-2.46220218813047
201410.5530736457343-5.579835672536614.97323797319773
2015-1.61993020239336-4.51945593038586-6.13938613277921
2016-39.9761057444093-2.72282680172762-42.6989325461369
20171.44886989474456-0.9419303343441260.506939560400433
2018-26.32231863885951.18106099091937-25.1412576479402
Show Table: Table 2.4 Breakdown of Private Sector Credit Flow, consolidated, 2009-2018 (€ billion)

A breakdown of private sector credit flow shows flows in non-financial corporation liabilities to generally be much greater than flows in household liabilities from 2009 onwards (Figure 2.16, Table 2.4). There was a sharp increase in flows of corporate liabilities in 2011, reflecting broad activity in the multinational sector. In 2016 and 2018, the large negative credit flow values of -€40bn and -€26.3bn, respectively, were mainly caused by net repayment of non-financial corporate debt related to the funding of intellectual property.

A positive credit flow equates to a net incurrence of debt during the year whereas a negative sign indicates a net repayment of debt during the same accounting period. The negative credit flows occurring in the household sector from 2009-2017, cumulatively amounting to €46.3bn, correspond to a net repayment, primarily of mortgage related debt. In 2018, there was a value of €1.2bn for household private sector credit flow.

Indicator 8: Private Sector Debt, consolidated

Private Sector Debt (% if GDP)MIP Threshold
2009256.088214876223133
2010257.012176888144133
2011274.456732570027133
2012279.105095361928133
2013267.481218386938133
2014278.357570164634133
2015305.086279626025133
2016284.446083954244133
2017250.535349699934133
2018223.237499641301133

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2018

Get the data: StatBank IFI05

Private sector debt is the stock of liabilities in the form of loans and debt securities held by non-financial corporations (NFCs, S.11), households (S.14) and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH, S.15). Positions between units within each sector are eliminated to produce a consolidated presentation. This reflects the amount of funds that the sector receives from other sectors. The indicator is expressed as a percentage of GDP (Figure 2.17). For Ireland, this indicator has exceeded the threshold of 133% every year since 2001 (the first year of availability for this time series) and stood at 223.2% of GDP at the end of 2018.

Supplementary analysis:

NFCs (Foreign Parent)NFCs (Irish Parent)HouseholdsTotal Private Sector DebtMIP Threshold
200968.338022704158171.5198617292079116.229651676614256.087536109981133
201086.704129206114560.0839434335726110.224560342906257.012632982594133
2011102.82419114074566.9437501097602104.688776897358274.456718147863133
2012110.95643263844269.651327189974598.4970664730479279.104826301464133
201396.270827023849477.996846913085493.2139117338014267.481585670736133
2014110.8941251958786.418266648424681.0453129744317278.357704818727133
2015166.05398512528382.524967277429156.5077692832179305.08672168593133
2016140.65002302897291.733072152902452.0722747145332284.455369896408133
2017118.03180129408785.701516506532346.8019521696115250.535269970231133
2018119.81130509514361.719669772159541.7068377619315223.237812629234133
Show Table: Table 2.5 Breakdown of Private Sector Debt, consolidated, 2009-2018 (% of GDP)

The analysis shown in Figure 2.18 and Table 2.5 considers the residency of an NFC’s ultimate controlling parent as the basis for distinguishing between Irish-controlled and foreign-controlled enterprises. In the period since 2009, several large multinational corporations have relocated their head offices to Ireland (i.e. redomiciled PLCs/corporate inversions), becoming an Irish parent NFC in this analysis.

During the period following the financial crisis (circa. 2009-2012), the contribution to overall private sector debt by Irish entities (NFCs and households) decreased, while the contribution from foreign-owned NFCs steadily increased. From 2013 to 2018, household debt (as a percentage of GDP) continued to fall. Total private sector debt increased in 2014 and 2015 due to notable increases in foreign-parent NFC debt, with a reversal in this trend in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, for the first time since the economic crisis, the combined debt of Irish parent non-financial corporations and households fell below the MIP threshold. In 2018, debt of Irish parent NFCs and households decreased again, to 61.7% of GDP and 41.7% of GDP respectively.

Redomiciled PLCsForeign Parent (ROW Debt)Irish Parent (ROW Debt)Foreign Parent (Irish Debt)Irish Parent (Irish Debt)HouseholdsMIP Threshold
20128.6133568149112669.179617956391911.542998306627941.776814682050349.494972068435398.4970664730479133
201312.97491855661566.520341171384414.834955248506329.750485852465150.186973107964293.2139117338014133
201425.458650194027277.643811697118417.843963370289233.250313498751943.115653084108281.0453129744317133
201528.1719635856228146.64362686467415.945841079934319.410358260609638.40716261187256.5077692832179133
201631.7369826169373126.21653915009626.141199081319614.433483878875833.854890454645552.0722747145332133
201724.7700925719632100.37645527217931.480531050778617.655346021908329.450892883790546.8019521696115133
201825.7563061875459106.22988498690211.196791156201813.58142010824124.766572428411841.7068377619315133
Show Table: Table 2.6 Breakdown of Private Sector Debt by Location of Counterparty, 2012-2018 (% of GDP)

Figure 2.19 shows a breakdown of private sector debt by location of counterparty – i.e. whether the debt is held with an entity resident in Ireland (Irish Debt) or outside of Ireland (ROW Debt). This analysis exploits newly available classifications from the BPM6 methodology. The debt of redomiciled PLCs is shown separately from the other non-financial corporations.

Prior to 2017, entities with an Irish parent predominantly borrow from Irish counterparties, whilst entities with foreign parents are mostly indebted to non-resident counterparties. In 2015, there was a large increase in foreign parent NFC non-resident (ROW) debt. This was related to corporate restructuring, both for imports of individual assets and for reclassifications of entire balance sheets in 2015. As a percentage of GDP, 2018 saw a reduction in private sector debt across most counterparty groups, except for foreign parent NFC non-resident (ROW) debt and redomiciled PLCs.

Indicator 9: General Government Debt

General Government Debt (% GDP)MIP Threshold
200961.543435958636360
201085.988362387618360
2011111.06382480521260
2012119.94106763516860
2013119.86574715714660
2014104.39384451128760
201576.723242515209360
201673.875899942580360
201767.769098478448960
201863.566001518340460

Source publication: Government Finance Statistics Annual, October 2019

Get the data: StatBank GFQ13 (Government Debt), StatBank N1824 (GDP)

General government gross debt (GG debt) consists of liabilities in the financial instruments of currency and deposits (AF.2), debt securities (AF.3) and loans (AF.4). The scoreboard indicator is obtained by expressing GG Debt as a percentage of GDP.

GG debt as a percentage of GDP grew steadily from 2009 to its peak in 2012/2013 of 119.9% and breached the MIP threshold of 60% in each of the past 10 years. GG Debt as a percentage of GDP has been decreasing since 2013, with significant reductions seen in 2014 and 2015 due to the repayment of IMF loans in 2014 and a substantial increase in GDP in 2015. The rate of decrease seen between 2015 and 2018 has been more gradual. In 2018, GG debt as a percentage of GDP decreased by 3.2%, from 67.8% to 63.6%.

 The level of GG Debt since 2009 has been strongly influenced by the financial crisis, the most significant factor being the state interventions in the banking sector from 2009 onwards. For more see file: Ireland - Impact of Government Support for Financial Institutions October 2019 (XLS 18KB)   (Source: CSO, Excel file 18KB).

Supplementary analysis:

General Government Debt (% GDP)General Government Debt (% GNI*)MIP Threshold
200961.543435958636377.636623875527560
201085.9883623876183111.840880893360
2011111.063824805212150.15036641922260
2012119.941067635168166.03898875871660
2013119.865747157146157.2382975927160
2014104.393844511287136.7357366644760
201576.7232425152093123.97575250836160
201673.8758999425803114.27880043955860
201767.7690984784489109.46318393085360
201863.5660015183404104.31378507039460

Figure 2.21 shows GG debt both as a percentage of GDP, and as a percentage of GNI* (modified GNI excluding globalisation effects). The differential between government debt as a percentage of GDP and that as a percentage of GNI* widens proportionally as government debt increases up to 2012 and reduces proportionally between 2012 and 2014 as government debt decreases. In 2015 there is a significant change in the differential, which is a result of the substantial jump in GDP of approximately 35%. The difference between government debt as a percentage of GDP and government debt as a percentage of GNI* stood at 47% in 2015. The value of government debt decreased by less than 1% in 2015, while GDP and GNI* increased by 35% and 9% respectively. Again, between 2015 and 2018, the reduction in government debt as a percentage of GDP/GNI* is a result of increases in the values of GDP and GNI*, with values of government debt decreasing by less than 0.5% in 2016 and increasing in both 2017 and 2018. For further information on GNI* and its calculation see the National Income and Expenditure Annual Results 2018.

DepositsDebt SecuritiesLoansMIP Threshold
20096.0601379709712653.81221499799821.6708135419269460
20108.174461463048257.46124742467420.352588276429760
201134.179666149846855.044311048708321.839707774449860
201235.461667562153149.867714714412234.61186839118260
201317.452869273721162.709752966769939.703134541899160
201410.737133375140761.122705507227332.533999728843260
20157.8807469589549247.850283706296520.992250339367360
20167.8455177374349545.597300371027720.432903324147760
20177.2694570241543343.792413699419716.707243786050960
20186.6806454025033641.425071622138515.460147790658960

Source publication: Government Finance Statistics Annual, October 2019

Get the data: StatBank GFQ13 (Government Debt), StatBank N1824 (GDP)

Figure 2.22 shows a breakdown of general government debt, as a percentage of GDP, into its constituent debt instruments. The significant increase in loan liabilities during the years 2010-2013 is predominantly a result of the EU-IMF programme of financial support. Deposits saw the largest amount of growth in 2011. This is mainly due to a combination of the reclassification of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) into the government sector from mid-2011 and the growing participation of the household sector in state savings schemes since 2009. The decline in the size of the currency and deposits sector once again in the period from 2013 to 2015 is related to the liquidation of IBRC. Between 2015 and 2018, all debt instruments experienced a decrease as a percentage of GDP which was consistent with the reduction in general government debt.

GG Debt (% GDP)MIP Threshold
Estonia8.460
Luxembourg2160
Bulgaria22.360
Czechia32.660
Lithuania34.160
Denmark34.260
Romania3560
Latvia36.460
Sweden38.860
Malta45.860
Poland48.960
Slovakia49.460
Netherlands52.460
Finland5960
Germany61.960
Ireland (% GDP)63.660
Hungary70.260
Slovenia70.460
Austria7460
Croatia74.860
United Kingdom85.960
Spain97.660
France98.460
Belgium10060
Cyprus100.660
Ireland (% GNI*)104.360
Portugal122.260
Italy134.860
Greece181.260

Source Publication: National Income and Expenditure Annual Results 2018

Get the data: StatBank N1824 (GDP), StatBank GFQ13 (Government Debt), Eurostat database 

Ireland’s general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP (63.6%) was the 13th highest in the EU in 2018. Ireland's GG Debt as a percentage of GNI* (modified GNI excluding globalisation effects) was 104.3%. If GNI* for Ireland is comparable to GDP for other countries which are less significantly affected by globalisation, then Ireland had the fourth highest level of government debt as a ratio of economic activity in the EU in 2018. For further information on GNI* and its calculation see the National Income and Expenditure Annual Results 2018.

Indicator 10: Unemployment Rate

Unemployment Rate (3 yr avg)MIP Threshold
20098.1510
201011.333333333333310
201114.210
201215.158333333333310
201314.910
201413.7510
201511.910
201610.108333333333310
20178.3833333333333310
20186.9833333333333310

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2019 

Get the data: StatBank QLF01

The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labour force who are unemployed. The indicator is derived as a three-year average based on the reference year plus the previous two years.

This indicator exceeded the MIP threshold from 2010 to 2016 (Figure 2.24). Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend since 2013 and is below the threshold in both 2017 and 2018, for the first time since 2009.

Supplementary analysis:

Unemployed 15-24 years (% of labour force, 3 yr avg)Unemployed 25+ years (% of labour force, 3 yr avg)Unemployment Rate (3 yr avg)MIP Threshold
20092.799735966456555.321114813881478.1510
20103.566179591696887.7392862627638511.333333333333310
20114.0486769515050610.117355964281314.210
20123.9973948122174211.114997583672815.158333333333310
20133.7469684352276211.098990882605914.910
20143.3754172679152210.305047654872213.7510
20152.86239320534478.9702537281234711.910
20162.44617675294917.5996072539719110.108333333333310
20172.063049016703616.267614970023738.3833333333333310
20181.803057053329885.139438776162436.9833333333333310

Get the data: StatBank QLF04

Figure 2.25 shows a breakdown of the unemployment rate by age group, illustrating the share of the unemployment rate composed of those younger than 25 years of age and those 25 years and over. From 2009 to 2011, unemployment increased both for those aged 15-24 and those aged over 25 (Figure 2.25). In 2018, unemployment has decreased for both age groups, as it has done since 2013. For further information on the unemployment rates for different age groups, please see the Labour Force Survey results, and the associated StatBank tables. Further information on youth unemployment can also be found in Indicator 14 below.

IndustryConstructionWholesale & Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and MotorcyclesAll Other Services + Agriculture, Forestry and FishingNot Stated/Not ApplicableUnemployment Rate (3 yr avg)MIP Threshold
20090.8808869305576961.774975002022730.8574125862874532.20177594049092.407213468907568.1510
20101.226220758638572.725571843772031.232403673984133.086248238027073.0364344879672511.333333333333310
20111.508611188031263.356469182099871.57856631304193.964672338023343.7577138945900314.210
20121.554732687842423.299126601800261.753838741356894.442381302286414.0626877459967715.158333333333310
20131.4654141051592.867839708584041.733986149752294.570354046880064.2087399908506714.910
20141.320069768535352.283750298172881.594593151526244.455157296931484.0272690910139713.7510
20151.088416977215541.662311280328651.30253032865853.935130482439643.8442578648258311.910
20160.871916532649661.158721578303661.025231043451323.353904569619393.6360102828969910.108333333333310
20170.6809667773472750.8206123713823610.8237221341803212.780188888520553.225528123686858.3833333333333310
20180.5278819690442160.5260645957268270.6883644106218582.401932112173162.79651938943596.9833333333333310
Show Table: Table 2.7 Share of the Unemployment Rate by former sector of employment, 2009-2018 (3 year average)

Figure 2.26 shows a breakdown of the unemployment rate by previous sector of employment, illustrating the share of the unemployment rate composed of each sector. The not stated/not applicable category in this figure includes persons who have never worked previously, and those who have worked previously but not during the past eight years. In 2018, unemployment continued to reduce across all sectors.

Indicator 11: Total Financial Sector Liabilities

Total Financial Sector Liabilities (annual % change)MIP Threshold
20093.3604058818604916.5
20106.3365341068059416.5
2011-2.2827822915134116.5
2012-1.7938805175648616.5
20131.9477393206968416.5
201419.548041192989116.5
20159.6347897154456416.5
20161.5132202635472916.5
20174.2560728202423216.5
20185.1094465534261716.5

Source publication: Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2018

Get the data: StatBank IFI03

This indicator measures the year-on-year change in the sum of all liabilities of the financial sector. This indicator only breached the MIP threshold of 16.5% in the year 2014 (Figure 2.27). The sharp increase in financial sector liabilities in 2014 was driven mainly by growth in the investment funds sector (S.124).

It should be noted that the generally positive year-on-year growth in total financial sector liabilities over the period 2009-2018 has been heavily influenced by the expansion of the investment funds sector in Ireland. While there was a contraction in this indicator in the period 2011 to 2012, the investment funds sector has expanded every year since 2008, as can be seen in Figure 2.28. For more information on the financial sector see The Financial Sector in Ireland's National Accounts 2016.

Supplementary analysis: 

Central BankBanks and Money Market FundsInvestment FundsOther Financial CorporationsTotal Financial Sector
20098.187-117.362109.4768964112.569570186166112.871466586167
201079.122-127.316186.21299281.9687159091544219.987707909154
2011-28.15-266.049788753134173.07434536.8514387230189-84.2740050301156
2012-38.537-149.020185593866199.627479115882-76.7836230444617-64.7133295224449
2013-32.837-92.860825653162.46226702544432.238819445873369.0032608183171
2014-23.167763211042275.7750680872714453.568690549474199.848270194261706.024265619964
2015-3.04001143301284-28.7275979925522165.44822688065282.326812385027416.007429840112
20164.7640630386530524.9376680294515119.28956238761-77.358913111522771.6323803441925
20176.21029669310999-20.8169178923818281.51422811499-62.3861444044097204.521462511308
20182.5561944723480167.079518944480292.105056259169294.2386569391259255.979426615124
Show Table: Table 2.8 Breakdown of Change in Financial Sector Liabilities, 2009-2018 (€ billion)

The investment funds sector has shown continuous growth in balance sheet size since 2009. Figure 2.28 shows the effect of this growth on the financial sector in helping to offset the deleveraging which occurred in the banking sector from 2009 to 2013. The banking sector showed year-on-year growth in its balance sheet during 2014, for the first time since 2008. Since 2014, the banking sector liabilities have fluctuated between contracting and expanding, with small overall changes in size relative to previous years.

It should be noted that part of the large increase in liabilities of the other financial corporations sector shown in 2014 and 2015 is a result of a newly available data source for this period. Another driver of this change is the growth in balance sheet size of treasury companies. More detail is provided in the CSO’s note on Measuring Shadow Banking in the Irish National Accounts.

Indicator 12: Activity Rate

Activity Rate (3 yr p.p. change)MIP Threshold
2009-1.9-0.2
2010-4-0.2
2011-3.6-0.2
2012-1.9-0.2
20130.2-0.2
20140.6-0.2
20151-0.2
20160.9-0.2
20170.9-0.2
20180.8-0.2

Get the Data: Eurostat database

The activity rate (also known as the participation rate) is the percentage of the population aged 15-64 years in the labour force as a proportion of the total population of the same age. This particular indicator is measured as a three-year percentage point change. This indicator breached its threshold of -0.2% in the years 2009-2012. Since 2013, the three year percentage point change in the activity rate has become positive, with a value of 0.8% in 2018.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsUnited KingdomMIP Threshold
2009-1.91.40.72.70-0.2
2010-41.11.31.2-0.1-0.2
2011-3.61.40.60.3-0.3-0.2
2012-1.90.90.10.90.4-0.2
20130.20.9-0.31.51-0.2
20140.60.40.10.91.2-0.2
201510.40.30.60.8-0.2
20160.90.30.70.30.9-0.2
20170.90.50.90.70.9-0.2
20180.810.40.71-0.2

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.30 shows the change in Ireland’s activity rate compared with selected EU countries. From 2009 to 2012, the change in Ireland’s activity rate breached the MIP threshold. The Netherlands follows a similar trend to that of Ireland, but with changes of lesser magnitude. While Germany did not breach the MIP threshold at any time during the ten year period, our three other European counterparts all breached the threshold at some point between 2010 and 2013.

15-19 yrs20-24 yrs25-34 yrs35-44 yrs45-54 yrs55-64 yrsTotal
2009-36.675-15.97525.749999999999938.999999999999930.8752163.9749999999998
2010-58.65-73.55-17.7521.92522.824999999999917.575-87.6250000000001
2011-51.8-88.45-37.92518.525000000000116.17513.775-129.7
2012-25.175-75.525-43.349999999999925.050000000000218.22514-86.7749999999997
2013-7.125-39.675-47.824999999999935.97522.875000000000122.65-13.1249999999999
2014-3.24999999999999-21.375-50.4541.17525.62525.37517.0999999999999
2015-3.925-9.44999999999999-51.925000000000139.599999999999933.57538.32546.1999999999998
201610.025-0.275000000000006-40.32537.47526.5534.267.6499999999999
20176.92499999999998-5.17500000000004-34.599999999999940.699999999999935.524999999999939.282.5749999999999
20188.849999999999992.59999999999999-27.324999999999941.52533.837.27596.725
Show Table: Table 2.9 Breakdown of labour force participation, 2009-2018 (change over 3 years)

Figure 2.31 shows the change over three years in the labour force by age group. The decline in the activity rate from 2010 onwards was mainly due to people aged 15 to 34 leaving the labour force.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsSpainUnited Kingdom
20097376.367.478.173.175.7
201071.676.767.877.973.575.4
201171.277.367.378.173.975.5
201271.177.267.57974.376.1
201371.877.667.579.474.376.4
201471.877.767.47974.276.7
201572.177.667.879.674.376.9
201672.777.968.279.774.277.3
201772.778.268.379.773.977.6
201872.978.668.280.373.777.9

Get the data: Eurostat database

Compared to three of the country’s largest European trading partners (Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), Ireland has consistently had a relatively low activity rate.

Indicator 13: Long-term Unemployment Rate

Long-term Unemployment Rate (3 yr p.p. change)MIP Threshold
20092.097413773955570.5
20105.462342735422550.5
20117.030288657403710.5
20125.639485957045920.5
20131.059882532207550.5
2014-2.193271202029770.5
2015-3.847950514264570.5
2016-3.698999115013790.5
2017-3.522587823507630.5
2018-3.228208165179140.5

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2019

Get the data: StatBank QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat database

The long-term unemployment rate expresses the number of people aged 15 to 74 unemployed for over one year as a percentage of the active population of the same age. The MIP threshold for the three year change in percentage points of the long-term unemployment rate is 0.5%. After small changes in the long-term unemployment rate (measured as a three-year percentage point change) in 2007 and 2008, Ireland’s long-term unemployment rate increased from 2009 to 2013 at rates far above the 0.5% threshold. However, since 2014, long-term unemployment as a three-year percentage point change has shown a decrease every year.

Supplementary analysis:

15-24 years25-44 years45 years and over Total
200915.12523.3510.92549.35
201028.67563.67529.525121.875
201128.02588.32538.35154.675
201217.2567.7537.525122.55
2013-7.82513.317.87523.35
2014-15.925-33.1251.775-47.275
2015-21.325-47.775-13.4-82.425
2016-13.825-46.375-19.475-79.675
2017-12.45-40.775-23.35-76.6
2018-11.075-36.975-23.275-71.4
Show Table: Table 2.10 Long-term unemployment, no. of people, 2009-2018 (change over 3 years)

Figure 2.34 and Table 2.10 show that the majority of those who were long-term unemployed from 2009 to 2012 (measured as a three-year change in absolute values) were aged 25-44 years. Similarly, this age category made the largest contribution to the decline in the numbers unemployed from 2014 to 2018.

Long-term Unemployment Rate
Czechia0.7
Poland1
Denmark1.1
Malta1.1
United Kingdom1.1
Sweden1.2
Estonia1.3
Germany1.4
Luxembourg1.4
Hungary1.4
Netherlands1.4
Austria1.4
Finland1.6
Romania1.8
Lithuania2
Ireland2.1
Slovenia2.2
Cyprus2.7
Belgium2.9
Bulgaria3
Latvia3.1
Portugal3.1
Croatia3.4
France3.8
Slovakia4
Italy6.2
Spain6.4
Greece13.6

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2019

Get the data: StatBank QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat database

In 2018, Ireland had the 13th highest long-term unemployment rate in the EU (Figure 2.35).

IrelandGermanyGreeceFranceNetherlandsSpainUnited Kingdom
20093.53.53.93.31.14.31.9
20106.93.35.73.91.37.32.5
20118.82.88.841.68.92.7
20129.22.414.54.11.9112.7
201382.318.54.42.5132.7
20146.62.219.54.52.912.92.2
20155.3218.24.6311.41.6
20164.21.7174.62.59.51.3
201731.615.64.21.97.71.1
20182.11.413.63.81.46.41.1

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2019

Get the data: StatBank QLF04 (Duration of Unemployment), Eurostat database

Since 2010, Ireland’s long-term unemployment rate has been higher than three of its major trading partners (Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) but this gap has narrowed in recent years.

Indicator 14: Youth Unemployment

Youth Unemployment Rate (3 yr p.p. change)MIP Threshold
200915.73865593185842
201018.97720569288762
201116.12336226579232
20126.387153026184012
2013-1.405811736129772
2014-6.171260666963262
2015-10.65959110261642
2016-9.932578649711892
2017-9.0166935803872
2018-6.472707808887252

Source publication: Labour Force Survey Q2 2019

Get the data: StatBank QLF18 (ILO Participation, Employment and Unemployment Characteristics by Age Group)

The youth unemployment rate is the unemployment rate of people aged 15-24 as a percentage of the labour force of the same age. This indicator is expressed as a three year change in percentage points. The MIP threshold for youth unemployment is a 2 percentage point increase over three years. Ireland’s youth unemployment increased at a rate exceeding this threshold between 2009 and 2012, peaking with an 19% increase in 2010. Substantial reduction in youth unemployment can be seen from 2013 onwards.

Supplementary analysis:

Unemployed Persons Aged 15-19 yrsUnemployed Persons Aged 20-24 yrs
200914.17541.9
20109.740.5
20114.7524.325
2012-1.75-3.15
2013-3.35-13.775
2014-6.075-18.05
2015-11.55-23.1
2016-7.25-19.075
2017-6.15-18.2
2018-1.825-14.175

Get the data: StatBank QLF18

Classifying the change in youth unemployment by age, it can be seen that most of the change in youth unemployment is mainly driven by those aged from 20 to 24.

Youth Unemployment Rate
Germany6.2
Czechia6.7
Netherlands7.2
Slovenia8.8
Malta9.1
Austria9.4
Hungary10.2
Denmark10.5
Lithuania11.1
United Kingdom11.3
Poland11.7
Estonia11.9
Latvia12.2
Bulgaria12.7
Ireland13.8
Luxembourg14.1
Slovakia14.9
Belgium15.8
Romania16.2
Sweden16.8
Finland17
Cyprus20.2
Portugal20.3
France20.7
Croatia23.4
Italy32.2
Spain34.3
Greece39.9

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.39 shows Ireland’s youth unemployment rate compared to its EU neighbours for 2018. Ireland's youth unemployment rate sits mid-table, 14th highest, in 2018.

IrelandGermanyGreeceNetherlandsSpainUnited Kingdom
200924.511.125.710.237.719.1
201028.19.83311.141.519.9
201129.68.544.71046.221.3
201230.8855.311.752.921.2
201326.77.858.313.255.520.7
201423.47.752.412.753.217
201520.27.249.811.348.314.6
201616.87.147.310.844.413
201714.46.843.68.938.612.1
201813.86.239.97.234.311.3

Get the data: Eurostat database

Figure 2.40 shows the youth unemployment rate as a percentage of the labour force (also known as active population) for the period 2009-2018. Compared to the Netherlands and Germany, Ireland’s youth unemployment rate has been relatively high since 2009, but remains significantly lower than Spain and Greece.

Next Chapter: Auxiliary Indicators >>