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E-mail: Gerard Doolan (+353) 21 453 5130 Mary Duggan (+353) 21 453 5584
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-6518
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Census of Industrial Production


Census of Industrial Production (CIP) - Industrial Enterprises 2008-2014
        % change
 20082009201020112012201320142008 - 20142013 - 2014
Industrial Enterprises (Number)15,95516,28516,05016,13216,38516,54016,4973.4-0.3
Persons engaged (Number)240,946218,279202,301201,695199,193200,991210,545-12.64.8
Turnover (€ million)118,919107,499116,815120,772123,020119,345127,3667.16.7
Intermediate consumption (€ million)73,75763,54572,19573,75073,15974,15383,35813.012.4
Gross Value Added (€ million)40,13737,82639,71441,70142,82841,16542,9206.94.3

Industrial Gross Value Added up 7% while persons engaged down 13% between 2008 - 2014

Figure 1: Turnover, Intermediate consumption and Gross Value Added in industrial enterprises, 2008-2014
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This release provides data on the Industrial sector in Ireland for the period 2008 - 2014. Revised figures for 2008 - 2012 are included, along with newly published figures for 2013 and 2014. The detailed tables present a breakdown of the numbers of active industrial enterprises, numbers of persons engaged in industrial sectors, as well as a range of financial information classified by: economic activity, employment size and nationality.

The Industry series 2008 - 2012 has been revised due to a number of factors:

(i)There are now more active enterprises on the CSO Business Register. There are now more enterprises considered active in the Industrial sector per the CSO Business Register.  These enterprises need to be measured. What is considered an active enterprise per the register of active enterprises in Ireland will determine its inclusion in the Industry series.  Size class thresholds will no longer be applied. For example, the Industry series previously didn't estimate for enterprises employing less than 3 persons engaged, but will do so now.

(ii) Updates in the National Accounts series. Under rules for the compilation of EU National Accounts (ESA 2010) a number of data series have been updated. For the Industry series, this principally concerns our estimates for Research & Development (R&D).  Estimates of R&D spend are now higher, and more of this R&D spend is being capitalised. This has the effect of increasing the estimate of Industrial Gross Value Added (GVA).

(iii) Non-response treatment & the greater use of administrative data. As part of the methodological review we have examined our methodology for non-respondents. We have aligned our non-response methodology more closely to the use of available administrative (tax) data and changed how we estimate for non-response. These new estimates for non-response are now incorporated into the Industry series, replacing the previous imputation methodology.

(iv) Other adjustments. During the review, the opportunity was taken to update the series for some sectoral NACE adjustments (enterprises being reclassified from one particular NACE sector to another), and updates to some Multinational Enterprise data measured by our National Accounts Large Cases Unit are also incorporated.

Main differences following revisions

Impact on number of enterprises & employment

As a result of incorporating the above revisions, more enterprises are now being measured for the industrial sector in Ireland.  The original series measured around 4,500 enterprises.  The revised series measures approximately 16,000 enterprises.  This increase is mainly due to the removal of the size class threshold, which excluded industrial enterprises which employed less than 3 persons.  See Figure 2.

Original SeriesRevised Series

The impact of counting these new enterprises on employment levels in Industry is far less however, as most industrial employment is concentrated in enterprises employing more than 3 persons. Accordingly, the new estimates for industrial employment levels are around only 10% higher than the original series, despite the very large increase in the number of enterprises. See Figure 3.

The increase in employment is heavily concentrated in the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) sector. For example, for reference year 2012, of the 19,695 additional persons engaged in manufacturing enterprises, 17,898 or 91% are employed by Irish SMEs. See Table 1.

Original SeriesRevised Series

Impact on Industrial & Manufacturing Gross Value Added

Updating the industrial series for the methodological improvements referenced above (in particular counting more enterprises and the positive impact of certain R&D capitalisation on GVA levels) , results in higher estimates for GVA – an increase in the range of 9-15% depending on the year. See Figure 4.

Taking reference year 2012 as an example, we can see the increase in the number of enterprises, particularly Irish owned enterprises. However, this increase in the number of enterprises is quite negligible in terms of the size class and nationality distribution of the value added of the manufacturing sector in Ireland.

For the original GVA series, the split between Irish and foreign owned manufacturing enterprises was 85/15 with foreign owned enterprises generating the vast majority of Manufacturing GVA. In the revised series, despite adding in excess of 11,800 enterprises and 20,000 persons engaged, the large majority of which were Irish owned enterprises, the split for GVA has increased slightly in favour of foreign owned enterprises (86/14). Later sections in the release explore these themes further.

Original SeriesRevised Series

Industrial sector in Ireland 2008-2014 - main trends

  • GVA in industrial enterprises was up 6.9% from €40.1bn in 2008 to €42.9bn in 2014 while there was an annual increase of 4.3%, or €1.8bn, since 2013. See Figure 1 and Headline Table.
  • Turnover in industrial enterprises was up 7.1% from €118.9bn in 2008 to €127.4bn in 2014 and showed a year on year increase of 6.7% on 2013 figures.
  • Intermediate consumption in industrial enterprises in 2014 was €83.4bn, which was an increase of 13.0% since 2008, when intermediate consumption was €73.8bn.  The annual increase in 2014 was 12.4% or €9.2bn up on 2013.  
  • While the number of industrial enterprises increased by 3.4% from 15,955 in 2008 to 16,497 in 2014, the number of persons engaged in these industrial enterprises declined by 12.6% from 240,946 to 210,545. See Headline Table and Figure 3.

Industrial sector in Ireland, year on year changes  2013-2014

In 2014, there was an annual increase in GVA of 4.3% from €41.2bn in 2013 to €42.9bn. The year on year change in industrial turnover was higher at 6.7%, up from €119.3bn in 2013 to €127.4bn in 2014. While the number of industrial enterprises was down marginally from 16,540 in 2013 to 16,497 in 2014, the number of persons engaged in these industrial enterprises rose 4.8% from 200,991 to 210,545. See Headline Table.

In the original series, the split between persons engaged in Irish and Foreign owned manufacturing enterprises was 50/50. However, in the new series the split is 56/44 with Irish owned enterprises now having the greater proportion of persons engaged.


 Sectoral composition analysis

  • GVA for the Food & beverages sector rose from 15.5% of total industrial GVA in 2008 to 21.6% in 2014, with GVA increasing from €6.2 bn in 2008 to €9.3 bn in 2014. See Figures 5 & 6.
  • The Chemical & pharmaceutical sector share of GVA in Industry was relatively constant between 2008 and 2014, rising from 36.2% to 37.0%.
  • The Computer, electronic, optical and electrical equipment sector's portion of industrial GVA fell from 12.9% in 2008 to 7.0% in 2014.
Percentage GVA
Mining and quarrying (05-09)1.5
Food and beverages (10-11)15.5
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals (20-21)36.2
Computer, electronic, optical and electrical equipment (26-27)12.9
Electricity, gas, water and waste management (35-39)8.6
Other manufacturing sectors (12-19, 22-25, 28-33)25.3
Percentage GVA
Mining and quarrying (05-09)1.2
Food and beverages (10-11)21.6
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals (20-21)37
Computer, electronic, optical and electrical equipment (26-27)7
Electricity, gas, water and waste management (35-39)9.6
Other manufacturing sectors (12-19, 22-25, 28-33)23.6
Small and medium enterprisesLarge enterprises

GVA by enterprise size class

  • The contribution of large industrial enterprises to industrial GVA in Ireland has grown relative to SMEs since 2008. See Figure 7.
  • Large enterprises accounted for 58.4% of total industrial GVA in 2008, rising to 70.7% in 2014. 
  • In contrast, while SMEs accounted for 41.6% of GVA in 2008, they accounted for only 29.3% by 2014.  
  • GVA for large industrial enterprises increased by 29.4% from €23.5bn in 2008 to €30.4bn in 2014, while SMEs reported a drop of 24.7% in the same period from €16.7bn to €12.6bn.
  • On an annual basis, GVA for large industrial enterprises was up 24.7% from €24.4bn in 2013 to €30.4bn in 2014, while SMEs reported a fall of 25.3% in the same period from €16.8bn to €12.6bn. 
Small and medium enterprisesLarge enterprises

Persons engaged by enterprise size class

  • The number of persons engaged in large industrial enterprises was down 4.6% from 100,526 in 2008 to 95,903 in 2014, while SMEs reported a fall of 18.4% in the same period from 140,420 to 114,642 persons engaged. See Figure 8.
  • The annual change in the number of persons engaged in large industrial enterprises was up 5.0% in 2014, while SMEs reported an increase of 4.5% in the same period. These are the first increases in either SME or large enterprise employment since 2008.  
  • Large enterprises employed 41.7% of total persons engaged in 2008 and this figure rose to 45.5% in 2014.
  • SMEs employed 58.3% of total persons engaged in 2008. This figure fell to 54.5% in 2014.
Irish owned Foreign owned

GVA by enterprise nationality of ownership

  • GVA in Irish owned manufacturing enterprises was down 9.2% from €8.6bn in 2008 to €7.8bn in 2014. See Figure 9.
  • Foreign owned manufacturing enterprises reported an increase of 10.9% in GVA over the same period from €27.5bn to €30.5bn.
  • GVA in Irish owned manufacturing enterprises was up 18.5% from €6.6bn in 2013 to €7.8bn in 2014.
  • Foreign owned manufacturing enterprises reported an increase of 1.2% in GVA over the same period, from €30.1bn to €30.5bn.
  • Irish owned enterprises accounted for only 23.7% of total manufacturing GVA in 2008, and this proportion was reduced to 20.3% in 2014.
  • Of the 79.7% of total manufacting GVA in 2014 attributable to foreign owned enterprises, 64.8% was generated by large sized enterprises with SME's contrbuting the other 14.9%.
Irish owned Foreign owned

Persons engaged in manufacturing by nationality of ownership

  • The number of persons engaged in Irish owned manufacturing enterprises was down 13.0% from 126,356 in 2008 to 109,959 in 2014. See Figure 10.
  • Foreign owned manufacturing enterprises reported a decrease of 13.4% in persons engaged over the same period from 92,436 to 80,007.
  • Persons engaged in Irish owned manufacturing enterprises was up 5.8% from 103,967 in 2013 to 109,959 in 2014, while foreign owned manufacturing enterprises reported an increase of 3.7% over the same period from 77,124 to 80,007.  
  • The number of persons engaged in Irish owned manufacturing enterprises has increased annually since 2012 and by 2014 was just 0.3% or 295 persons below 2009 levels.
  • The number of persons engaged in foreign owned manufacturing enterprises in 2014 are just above 2011 levels, but 173 persons or 0.2% lower than 2010 levels.
  • In terms of the number of persons engaged, both Irish and foreign owned enterprises are still below 2008 levels with Irish owned having 16,397 fewer persons engaged and Foreign owned enterprises having 12,429 fewer persons engaged in 2014.



Please note: Additional sectoral analysis for Industry in Ireland, including international comparisons, will be available in the Business in Ireland publication. This is due to be published by the end of November 2016.

Table1: Persons engaged and Gross Value Added for Manufacturing Enterprises (Nace 10-33), 2012
      Persons engaged      Gross Value Added (GVA)
 201220121 201220121
Irish Large18,29420,727 1,272,048,000838,185,271
Irish SME61,36379,261 3,722,016,0004,729,157,971
Foreign Large56,00655,778 24,432,394,00025,069,239,397
Foreign SME23,34222,934 5,528,700,0007,587,294,830
1 Figures revised for 2012

Background Notes



The Census of Industrial Production comprises two separate but closely related annual inquiries, namely:

(i)   the Census of Industrial Enterprises covers those enterprises which are wholly or primarily engaged in industrial; published 27th October, 2016.

(ii)  the Census of Industrial Local Units which covers all industrial local. To be published at a later date.


The Census of Industrial Production is required under Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 295/2008. The 2014 Census was taken in accordance with SI 44/2013.  

NACE refers to the classification NACE Revision 2 which is the European Union’s Statistical Classification of Economic Activity in the European communities

For further information on the NACE Rev. 2 classification of industrial activity, visit the CSO website:

An enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision making, especially for the allocation of its current resources.  A local unit is defined as an enterprise or part thereof situated in a geographically identified place.

Appreciation is extended to firms that co-operate in this annual Census. The information they provide is treated as strictly confidential to the Central Statistics Office. Direct or indirect disclosure of information relating to individual respondents is avoided in the publication of results by applying confidentiality checks to categories containing small numbers of units and suppressing figures, etc.

Presentation of Results

All tables are available on the Central Statistics Office website, please see

Enterprises Industrial = Click here      
Enterprises Manufacturing = Click here

Period Covered by the Census

Although the Census relates in principle to the calendar year, respondents are permitted to return figures for their nearest accounting year.  The end of the accounting year for all returns used falls between May of the reference year and April of the following year.  Returns which cover a period of less than 12 months are accepted in cases where businesses have started or ceased trading during the year.

All employment details in the 2014 Census relate to the week ending 12th September 2014.  Concerns that had no persons engaged in this week (e.g. ceased operations earlier in the year or started production later in the year) were classified as having zero employment.  In tables which analyse local units in terms of persons engaged, these are included in the lowest size class, e.g. less than ten persons engaged.

Data Collection

The Census is conducted by post and via e-forms.  A permanent up-to-date register is kept of all relevant local units and enterprises known to be involved in industrial production.  The register is maintained from the Central Business Register, administrative and public utility records, announcements in the press, business journals, field personnel contacts, etc. This register is constantly being updated.  This results in differing estimates for the total number of enterprises/local units through the dissemination cycle.

An ‘enterprise’ questionnaire is sent to all enterprises whose activity is primarily industrial.  The type of ‘enterprise’ questionnaire depends on the size of the enterprise.  The most detailed form (form F) is generally sent to all enterprises with twenty or more persons engaged.  A less detailed form (form C) is sent to enterprises with between three and twenty persons engaged. Enterprises with less than 3 persons engaged do not receive a survey form, but administrative data is used to estimate for such enterprises. In previous years the cut-off point was thirteen persons engaged. In the case of multi-location enterprises, a ‘local unit’ questionnaire is sent to each local unit with three or more persons engaged which was in production during the year.  For the majority of local units, this questionnaire is the standard form L.  In a small number of exceptional cases, a single form L is issued to cover several local units operated by the same enterprise - see Scope of the Local Unit Census below. 

All forms are available on CSO’s website: Click here

In relation to local units involved in NACE Division 36 (Water collection, treatment and supply) a W form is used.  This reflects the difference in activity type of these firms.

All returns are scrutinised clerically for internal accuracy.  They are compared with returns for previous years and in some instances with returns to other industrial inquiries.  Local unit and enterprise returns relating to the same enterprise are examined together for consistency.  A further set of consistency checks is carried out in the computer processing of the data.  Substantial queries arising from these scrutiny operations are referred to the respondent by telephone or in writing.

Industrial Activity Classification and Statistical Units

The 2014 results are classified by NACE Revision 2, which was first introduced for reference year 2008.  A correlation table showing the relationship between headings of the old and new classifications is available on request.  Each 4 digit class in NACE Revision 2 relates to a specific form of economic activity, eg manufacture of basic pharmaceuticals products (NACE 2110).  The statistical units in the Census (local unit and enterprise) are coded to the NACE class relating to their principal industrial activity during the Census year.  In the case of local units, this is determined on the basis of detailed information provided on their production of individual products.  The activity classification of enterprises is based on the NACE codes of the constituent local units.  An enterprise that operates several industrial local units coded to different NACE classes is classified to the activity which accounts for the highest proportion of the total value added of the enterprise.

The scope of the Census extends to NACE sections B, C, D and E, namely:

Section B:              Mining and quarrying

Section C:              Manufacturing

Section D:              Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

Section E:              Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

The traditional category Transportable Goods Industries used in industrial statistics is equivalent to NACE sections B and C.  The Manufacturing Industries grouping includes only section C.


Classification by Nationality of Ownership

The classification is determined by the nationality of the owners of 50 per cent or more of the share capital.  The breakdown which can be provided at sectoral level is in many cases constrained by the need to preserve the confidentiality of data provided by individual units.  For total manufacturing industry, however, a more detailed nationality classification is possible. 

Export Performance and the Purchase of Imported Materials

Details are provided on value of output of industrial local units which was exported and the proportion of materials purchased which were imported. The proportions of exports destined for four major markets are also given.  These results are presented classified by major industrial sectors, NUTS 2 regions classified by major industrial sector and local units classified by nationality of ownership and number of persons engaged.

These analyses are based on respondents’ replies to questions asking the value of production (or turnover) which was exported and the breakdown by destination, as well as the value of materials purchased which was imported.  It must be recognised in interpreting these results that this is information that is not readily available in standard business accounts, particularly in relation to the origin of materials purchased from suppliers.


Census of Industrial Enterprises

Scope and Coverage

The enterprise Census covers all enterprises which are wholly or principally involved in industrial production (i.e. NACE Sections B to E).

An enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision making, especially for the allocation of its current resources (e.g. company, partnership, individual proprietorship, etc.).  An enterprise may be a sole legal unit.  In practice, the enterprise is equivalent to a company or firm.  Within a group of companies, each individual company is treated as a separate enterprise.  The return for each enterprise relates to all of its activities and covers all local units operated by it, including those involved in non-industrial activity, e.g. wholesaling or retailing.

Estimation for Non-Respondents

If information for key non-respondents is available from an alternative source, for example, Monthly Production, Quarterly Statistics or Prodcom or a return for the previous year, then the record is manually estimated; otherwise administrative data is used in conjunction with ratio extensions. Ratio extension involves the application of ratios between known variables to cases where only one subcomponent is known.  The ratios are typically calculated at NACE class level before being applied, although some merging of NACE classes may take place in order to ensure that the ratio estimates are not based on very small populations.

Full data for enterprises filling in the more restricted C forms is derived using the ratio extension method also. All non-key non-respondents are estimated for using administrative data and ratio extensions.

Enterprise Results for 2014

In 2014 there were 16,497 enterprises known to the CSO to be involved wholly or primarily in industrial production (NACE Sections B, C, D and E).  Their total turnover was €127,366 million and purchases of goods and services amounted to €89,359 million.  Total gross value added was €42,920 million.  The total number of persons engaged in these enterprises (excluding outside piece-workers) in September 2014 was 210,545; labour costs in the year amounted to €10,991 million, of which wages and salaries accounted for €9,620 million.

67% of industrial turnover is classified to the following four NACE classes.

  • Manufacture of computer, electrical and optical equipment (NACE 26)
  • Manufacture of Chemical and chemical products(NACE 20)
  • Manufacture of  basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations (NACE 21)
  • Manufacture of food products (NACE 10)


Census of Industrial Local Units

Scope and Coverage

The Census of industrial local units relates to all local units engaged in industrial activity.  A local unit is defined as an enterprise or part thereof situated in a geographically identified place.  The different geographical locations in which an enterprise conducts industrial activities are treated as separate local units.  A separate return is sought for each industrial local unit.  The extent to which separate returns are obtained in practice, however, depends on the availability of separate records in the business for the different local units. 

If separate details are not available for multi-location enterprises then for those tables involving a classification of local units by size (e.g. number of persons engaged per local unit or gross output per local unit) or by location (county or region) the local units are classified as non-attributable.

Estimation for Non-Respondents

Single local units are estimated at enterprise level while multiple local units attached to a single enterprise are estimated by using the enterprise return and apportioning accordingly relative to employment.


Comparison of Local Unit and Enterprise Census

Coverage and Statistical Units

The results for industrial enterprises must be distinguished from the results for industrial local units.  Despite the fact that, in the majority of cases, the local unit is equivalent to the enterprise, the use of two different units in the two Censuses has a number of consequences which must be borne in mind when interpreting and comparing their results, namely:

  • Only enterprises engaged wholly or mainly in industrial production are covered in the Census of Industrial Enterprises.  Some industrial activity recorded in the local unit Census is not covered in the enterprise Census because it is undertaken by enterprises which are not classified as industrial.  Such enterprises belong to non-industrial sectors such as Distribution, Building and Construction, Transport and Central or Local Government.
  • Conversely, many industrial enterprises are also involved to some extent in non-industrial activity which is reflected in their employment, turnover and other figures.  A rough measure of the amount of distribution activity covered in the enterprise results is that about 5% of turnover in 2014 for NACE Sections B, C, D and E relates to factored goods (i.e. goods resold without further processing).


The local unit Census focuses on the industrial process, namely the utilisation of materials, industrial services and labour, and the value of goods produced during the year.  The most important variables distinguished are, therefore, gross output, industrial input and net outputGross output represents the selling value of goods actually produced in the year, as reported by the businesses themselves, irrespective of whether sold or put into stock.  Industrial input is defined as the cost of materials, industrial services and fuel and power used in the year.  Net output is gross output less industrial input.

The enterprise Census, on the other hand, relates to the trading dimension, namely turnover, purchases of materials and services and labour costs during the year.  One of the main variables in this Census is, therefore, turnover, which represents the revenue received during the year.  This can be compared with gross output by means of the derived variable production value. This variable approximates closely to the value of gross output of the industrial local units operated by the enterprises.  The different treatment of excise duties and operating subsidies in the two Censuses makes comparison more difficult for the small number of industries affected by these factors.

The variable in the enterprise Census which approximates most closely to industrial input is intermediate consumption which is defined as the purchases of materials, industrial and non-industrial services and fuel and power less the rise (or plus the fall) during the year of stocks of materials and fuels.  The main difference, therefore, is the inclusion of non-industrial services in intermediate consumption.  In the enterprise Census gross value added (excluding VAT) is defined as production value less intermediate consumption; this is the closest approximation to net output as distinguished in the local unit Census.




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