GDP Increased by 8.2% in 2018
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 8.2% in 2018 while Gross National Product (GNP) rose by 6.5%. These results are broadly in line with the preliminary estimates published in March which showed GDP increasing by 6.7% and GNP increasing by 5.9%. The estimates in this release use more complete data than were available for the Q4 2018 estimates. These results are compiled in accordance with the latest EU standard framework, ESA 2010.
For more information on our main aggregates go to Main Aggregates.
On the expenditure (Expenditure) side of the accounts, net exports provided the largest contribution to growth. Exports remained strong in 2018 with growth of 10.4% recorded while Imports decreased by 2.9%.
On the domestic side of the economy, headline investment declined by 21.1% in 2018. This reflects a reduction in purchases of intellectual property with Research and Development down 55.5%. These transactions are GDP neutral because of an offsetting decline in imports. The largest increase in capital formation came in Transport equipment, although this was mainly due to purchases of aircraft. Excluding R&D service imports and trade in IP, as well as Aircraft related to leasing, modified investment shows growth of 8.5%. This is driven by construction activity with investment in Dwellings up 27.5%.
For more information see Capital Formation.
Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE), a measure of consumer spending on goods and services, rose by 3.4% in 2018. The largest contributions to growth came from Miscellaneous goods and services (+4.3%) and Transport and communication (+4.8%). Today's release also includes an upward revision to PCE in 2017 with growth of 3.0% now estimated. This revision reflects the incorporation of new data not available at the time of the National Income and Expenditure results for 2017. Regarding government consumption, Net expenditure by central and local government on current goods and services rose by 4.4%.
For more information on PCE go to Consumption of Personal Income.
Gross Value Added
All of the sectors of the economy distinguished in Table 4 (Net and Gross Value Added) recorded growth except for Agriculture, forestry and fishing which recorded a decline of 14.6%. The largest increases were in Industry (excl. construction) which saw Gross Value Added (GVA) increasing by 9.6% while Information and Communication increased by 21.2%.
Modified Gross National Income (GNI*) at current market prices increased by 7.3% rising from €184.0bn to €197.5bn, whereas GNI at current market prices increased by 7.7% rising from €236.0bn to €254.2bn.
Modified GNI is an indicator recommended by the Economic Statistics Review Group and is designed to exclude globalisation effects that are disproportionally impacting the measurement of the Irish economy.
To produce Modified GNI we take GNI and adjust for:
- Factor income of redomiciled companies
- Depreciation on R&D service imports and trade in intellectual property (IP)
- Depreciation on aircraft leasing
For more details go to Modified Gross National Income.
The graph below shows the contributions of each activity to the growth from 2017 to 2018.
Industry excluding construction contributed 43.1% to the growth with Information and communication contributing another 30.5%.
For more detailed information on Gross Value Added and Net Value Added by activity go to Net and Gross Value Added.