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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 Peter Culhane (+353) 1 498 4382
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-5600

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis. The results contained in this release reflect some of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information see our Information Note.

CSO statistical release, , 11am

Quarterly Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial

Quarter 2 2020

Seasonally Adjusted Gross Household Saving by Component€million
 Gross Disposable Income (B.6g + D.8)Final Consumption Expenditure (P.3)Gross Saving Ratio
Q1 202031,01325,69217.2%
Q2 202031,13120,12035.4%

Large reduction in consumption leads to spike in savings

Seasonally Adjusted Household Saving Ratio
go to full release

Household saving increased in the second quarter of 2020, even as earnings declined. Self-employed income and compensation of employees declined sharply; the compensation of employees would have been even lower if not for the subsidy (D.3) government paid to employers (the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme). The declines in wages and self-employed earnings were also to some extent counterbalanced by the lower income taxes (D.5) and social contributions (D.61, PRSI etc) paid by households, and the higher social protection payments (D.62), such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment paid by government to households. All of this left seasonally adjusted gross disposable income (B.6g) close to where it was in the first quarter. However, consumer spending (which includes essentials like rent and utilities) decreased very sharply as COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. About one fifth of spending disappeared in the quarter. See our Infographic. The derived saving ratio, which shows the relationship between saving and income, reached a record high as approximately one euro was saved for every three euros of income.

This saving rate is for households collectively and does not show the wide range of economic changes individual households experienced in the period April to June. The CSO's Information Hub has further information on COVID-19's social impact and the changes in employment and business in recent months. 

The seasonally adjusted data series which includes Gross Disposable Income, Personal Consumption of Goods and Services and Gross Saving of the Household incl. NPISH sector is available on Statbank. Only the most significant transactions are shown in the table for each sector in this release. The entire unadjusted series for all variables published in this release are also available at the same link. See Background Notes for definitions of the terms used. 

Table S1M Households and NPISH (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
B2A3G Self-employment and rent7,6868,0338,5487,6347,183-503
D1 Paid employment24,99224,66225,84826,25822,866-2,126
D4_rec Investment income received1,6501,2151,6261,5951,869219
D4_paidminus Interest paid after FISIM-472-596-721-725-704-232
D5_paidminus PAYE, income tax etc-5,709-5,573-8,721-5,990-5,045664
D61 minus PRSI, pension contributions etc-5,469-5,346-5,871-5,660-4,903566
D62 plus Social protection, pensions received7,0377,0727,8757,6539,5552,518
D7_net plus net miscellaneous transfers7310222943492418
B6G equals gross disposable income29,79029,56928,81330,80831,3131,523
D8 plus adjustment for pension fund value459313438413351-108
P3 minus consumer spending-25,382-25,552-27,503-25,642-19,6015,781
B8G equals gross saving4,8664,3311,7485,57812,0637,196
D9_net plus net capital transfers168609513118719
P5 minus capital spending-1,660-2,041-1,913-1,988-1,032627
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)3,3742,350-703,72111,2177,843

Domestic Economy Shrinks

The economy as a whole shrank in the second quarter as COVID-19 related restrictions were in place for the whole quarter. Earnings of employees declined significantly, although company profits held up better. Consumer spending declined sharply and VAT receipts of government were significantly down.

The gross saving of the total domestic economy is equal to total fixed capital investment in Ireland (P.5) plus net investment in the rest of the world (the current account (CA) balance, the negative of B.12 of S.2). This equality is useful for analysis of the economy as a whole and Figure 2 illustrates the trends in, and relationships between these three important indicators. We can see that the large investments in intellectual property, which occurred in several recent quarters are absent in Q2 and the economy has a positive current account balance. Saving is higher than it was in this quarter last year because, even though government saving declined drastically, households and corporations increased their saving.  

Current Account Balance -B12Investment P5Saving B8g
Table S1 Domestic Economy (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
B1GQ Gross Domestic product84,93193,22592,96691,57082,799-2,132
D2/D3 minus taxes on production paid by domestic sectors plus subsidies received-5,146-6,994-5,768-4,700-2,0443,102
D1_paid minus Compensation of Employees paid by domestic enterprises-25,028-24,702-25,893-26,307-22,9452,084
B2A3G equals Gross operating surplus & mixed income54,75761,52861,30660,56357,8103,053
D1_rec plus Compensation of Employees received by Irish Households24,99224,66225,84826,25822,866-2,126
D2/D3(b) plus taxes on production received by Government here minus subsidies paid5,3317,3106,1034,9992,217-3,114
D4_net plus net investment income from the rest of the world-21,222-20,349-20,108-19,965-19,9651,257
B5G equals Gross National Income63,85973,15173,14971,85562,929-930
D5_D6_D7_D8plus net other transfers from rest of world-699-917-626-1,094-1,053-354
P3_S13 minus final consumption expenditure of government-10,306-11,290-11,132-10,094-11,533-1,228
P3_S1M minus final consumption expenditure of households-25,382-25,552-27,503-25,642-19,6015,781
B8G equals Gross Saving27,47235,39233,88735,02530,7413,269
D9_net plus net capital transfers from RoW-1102-578
P5 minus capital investment-60,075-23,784-62,452-49,582-19,07840,997
NP minus non-produced asset investment-17,301-5,151-5,927-4,816-7,9109,391
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)-49,9056,467-34,490-19,3773,76053,665

Negative Government Saving

The government had increased net borrowing (B.9) in the quarter as it increased spending on healthcare, social protection and wage subsidies, and at the same time had reduced income from taxes. Increased spending on services like healthcare is reflected in the final consumption of government (P.3). The impact of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is seen in the growth of subsidies (D.3), which were paid to corporations (S.11 and S.12) who then passed them on as compensation of employees (D.1) to households. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment led to higher social protection payments (D.62).  Reduced consumption by households and businesses led to lower income from taxes on products (D.2, for instance, VAT). The only economic positive for government was the growth of corporation taxes (D.5) over this period last year, which more than offset the decline in income taxes from households. Further information on the non-financial accounts and also the financial accounts of the government sector can be found in the Quarterly Government Finance Statistics.

Government balance (B.9)/quarterly GDP
Table S13 General Government (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
B2A3G Gross Operating Surplus (Depreciation and rental)1,3311,3311,3311,3631,36434
D2 plus taxes on production received5,7197,7196,6495,4424,349-1,370
D3 minus subsidies paid-388-409-546-443-2,132-1,745
D4_rec plus investment income received1,23311919839860-372
D4_paidminus Interest paid after FISIM-1,185-1,082-1,054-988-902283
D5 plus income and wealth taxes9,3617,24113,7886,88110,068707
D61 plus PRSI, pension contributions received3,8503,7874,2803,8463,550-300
D62 minus Social protection, pensions paid-5,790-5,740-6,636-6,154-8,455-2,665
D7_net plus net miscellaneous transfers-707-953-786-1,068-1,468-761
B6G equals gross disposable income13,42312,01217,2238,9177,234-6,188
P3 minus final consumption expenditure-10,306-11,290-11,132-10,094-11,533-1,228
D1 of which compensation of employees-5,834-5,631-5,932-5,991-6,048-214
B8G equals gross saving3,1177226,091-1,177-4,299-7,416
D9_net plus net capital transfers-277-107-277-292-302-24
P5 minus capital spending-2,000-2,025-2,127-2,087-2,177-177
NP plus disposal of non-produced assets01400000
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)840-1,2693,688-3,555-6,777-7,617

Non-Financial Corporations (S.11)

Non-financial corporations have recently invested heavily in new assets used in production (capital assets, P.5, and non-produced assets NP). These assets have allowed the corporations to increase their gross operating surplus (B2A3G), for example because they own the intellectual property used for production instead of having to pay rental for its use. So when we compare the latest quarter to the equivalent quarter last year we should expect their operating surplus to be higher. This is indeed the case, however, it is much lower in this quarter than in the preceding three quarters. The impact of COVID-19 has significant variations between economic activity sectors: activities predominantly domestically-owned, such as hospitality, have fared worse than foreign-dominated sectors, such as information technology. The Quarterly National Accounts show gross value added by economic activity (NACE A10). The quarterly gross value added in foreign-multi-national dominated sectors (published 8 October 2020) will provide further detail on the non-financial corporations sector.

Compensation of employees (D.1) was sharply down, even after the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (D.3) receipts were fed through to employees by corporations. Capital investment (P.5) returned to a more normal level after several spikes in recent quarters. The increased operating surplus is reflected in increased gross saving (B.8g) in the sector, but the total investment in the capital account exceeded gross saving, leaving the sector as a net borrower in the quarter. 

Table S11 Non-Financial Corporations (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
B1G Gross value added59,67166,79767,22967,67759,427-244
D1 less compensation of employees-16,282-16,197-16,948-17,249-14,3461,936
D2/D3 plus subsidies less taxes on production-426-463-306-4081,4721,898
B2A3G equals gross operating surplus42,96350,13749,97650,02046,5533,590
D4_rec plus investment income received4,0085,5915,5386,4582,943-1,065
D4_paidminus investment income paid-25,253-25,966-25,341-26,368-24,311942
D42_D43of which dividends and reinvested earnings paid-22,295-22,461-21,726-22,619-20,4811,815
D5 minus corporation tax etc-2,818-1,288-3,914-712-4,009-1,191
D7_net plus net miscellaneous transfers-141-141-142-153-158-17
B8G equals gross saving18,76028,33326,11729,24521,0192,260
D9_net plus net capital transfers1085618315612214
P5 minus capital investment expenditure-55,955-17,913-55,905-43,386-15,43940,516
NP minus expenditure on non-produced assets-17,301-5,291-5,927-4,816-7,9109,391
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)-54,3885,184-35,532-18,801-2,20752,180

Financial Corporations (S.12)

Financial corporations (S.12) showed decreases in investment income (D.4) paid and received, leaving their net income higher overall. This fed into a higher gross saving than in the equivalent quarter of 2019. Most of the investment income of S.12 relates to transactions with the rest of the world, further details of which are contained in the international accounts.

Table S12 Financial Corporations (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
B1G Gross value added4,6514,9725,1785,0264,492-159
D1 less compensation of employees-2,079-2,052-2,151-2,190-1,821258
D2/D3 plus subsidies less taxes on production-216-101-206-98-18432
B2A3G equals gross operating surplus2,3562,8192,8212,7392,487131
D4_rec plus investment income received24,82323,98121,53421,32520,944-3,879
D41_rec of which interest rec.17,79418,53518,13617,24315,999-1,795
D42_D43_rec                  dividends and reinvested earnings rec.6,1244,7312,8953,4224,310-1,814
D44_rec                  other investment income rec.905716503659635-270
D4_paid minus investment income paid-26,025-23,610-21,888-21,301-20,6655,361
D41_paid of which interest paid-6,870-7,330-7,428-7,111-6,675196
D42_D43_paid                dividends and reinvested earnings paid-3,594-1,929-1,279-1,640-1,8421,752
D44_paid                  other investment income paid-15,561-14,350-13,182-12,550-12,1483,413
D5 minus corporation tax etc-833-381-1,153-180-1,019-185
D61 plus pension contributions received1,6191,5591,5911,8141,353-266
D62 minus pension benefits paid-1,160-1,245-1,153-1,401-1,002158
D8 minus adjustment for pension saving of households-459-313-438-413-351108
D7_net plus net miscellaneous transfers-12-12-12-12-13-0
B8G equals gross saving3082,7971,3012,5701,7351,427
D9_net plus net capital transfers000000
P5 minus capital investment expenditure-882-1,014-1,138-929-653229
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)-5751,7831631,6411,0811,656

Rest of the World Sector (S.2)

As noted in the discussion of the Domestic Economy, service imports (P.7) from the rest of the world (S.2) did not include exceptionally large imports of intellectual property as they had in several recent quarters. Ireland also had lower exports (P.6) to the rest of the world relative to the equivalent quarter last year. In a quarter without these large investments, the rest of the world buys more goods and services from Ireland that they sell to us, hence the balance of goods and services (B.11) is negative for the rest of the world. Most of these imports and exports are from foreign-owned multinationals, whose surpluses are then recorded as dividends and reinvested earnings paid to the rest of the world. So, in a quarter without exceptional imports, like 2020-Q2, this leaves the current external balance (B.12) as a smaller negative for the rest of the world than B.11. In this quarter, investment income (D.4) was lower for both resources and uses of the rest of the world, but the net paid to the rest of the world was down. After capital transfers are taken account of, the rest of the world is a net borrower from Ireland (B.9). Further details on transactions with the Rest of the World are provided in the International Accounts.

Table S2 Rest of the World (€million)
ESA CodeDescription2019Q22019Q32019Q42020Q12020Q22020Q2 versus 2019Q2
P7 Imports120,04480,529129,868105,91175,147-44,897
P6 minus exports-109,212-113,129-121,747-112,164-107,7341,478
B11 equals balance of goods and services10,832-32,5998,121-6,252-32,586-43,418
D1_net plus net compensation of employees to rest of world364044497943
D2/D3 plus taxes on production received less subsidies paid by rest of world-186-315-335-299-17313
D4_net plus investment income to rest of world21,22220,34920,10819,96519,965-1,257
D5_D6_D7_D8plus net other current transfers to rest of world6999176261,0941,053354
B12 equals current external balance32,603-11,60828,56414,557-11,663-44,266
D9_net plus net capital transfers to rest of world1-10-25-7-8
NP plus non-produced assets disposal by rest of world17,3015,1515,9274,8167,910-9,391
B9 equals net lending (+) /borrowing (-)49,905-6,46734,49019,377-3,760-53,665

Tables by Transaction

Table 1 Quarterly Accounts by Institutional Sector, Summary 2020Q2 (€million)
 S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
(a) B1G Gross Domestic Product/Gross Value Added
2019Q1               84,9296,01859,5114,4836,9437,975
2019Q2               84,9315,16459,6714,6517,1648,280
2019Q3               93,2255,91266,7974,9726,9618,583
2019Q4               92,9664,13067,2295,1787,2639,167
2019               356,05121,223253,20919,28428,33134,004
2020Q1               91,5703,18767,6775,0267,3548,326
2020Q2               82,7993,79959,4274,4927,4127,669
(b) B2A3G Gross Operating Surplus and Gross Mixed income
2019Q1               53,533-21442,8452,3251,3317,247
2019Q2               54,75742142,9632,3561,3317,686
2019Q3               61,528-79150,1372,8191,3318,033
2019Q4               61,306-1,36949,9762,8211,3318,548
2019               231,125-1,953185,92110,3205,32231,514
2020Q1               60,563-1,19250,0202,7391,3637,634
2020Q2               57,81022346,5532,4871,3647,183
(c) D1_D4 Net Primary Income
2019Q1               11,771               -19,480-1585,87225,537
2019Q2               9,102               -21,244-1,2025,37826,170
2019Q3               11,623               -20,3763726,34625,281
2019Q4               11,843               -19,803-3545,24726,752
2019               44,338               -80,903-1,34322,843103,740
2020Q1               11,292               -19,910244,04927,128
2020Q2               5,118               -21,3672802,17524,031
(d) B5G Gross National Income = (b + c)
2019Q1               65,304-21423,3652,1677,20332,784
2019Q2               63,85942121,7181,1546,70933,857
2019Q3               73,151-79129,7623,1907,67733,313
2019Q4               73,149-1,36930,1732,4666,57835,300
2019               275,463-1,953105,0198,97728,166135,255
2020Q1               71,855-1,19230,1102,7635,41234,762
2020Q2               62,92922325,1862,7663,54031,214
(e) D5_D7 Net Current Transfers
2019Q1               -1,367               -5494452,871-4,134
2019Q2               -699               -2,959-3876,714-4,067
2019Q3               -917               -1,429-804,335-3,744
2019Q4               -626               -4,057-72710,646-6,487
2019               -3,609               -8,994-74924,566-18,432
2020Q1               -1,094               -8652203,505-3,954
2020Q2               -1,053               -4,166-6803,69499
(f) B6G Gross Disposable Income = (d + e)
2019Q1               63,937-21422,8162,61110,07428,651
2019Q2               63,16042118,76076613,42329,790
2019Q3               72,234-79128,3333,11112,01229,569
2019Q4               72,523-1,36926,1171,73917,22328,813
2019               271,853-1,95396,0258,22752,732116,823
2020Q1               70,761-1,19229,2452,9838,91730,808
2020Q2               61,87522321,0192,0867,23431,313
(g) P3_D8 Use of Disposable Income
2019Q1               -35,295               0-577-9,578-25,140
2019Q2               -35,687               0-459-10,306-24,923
2019Q3               -36,842               0-313-11,290-25,239
2019Q4               -38,635               0-438-11,132-27,065
2019               -146,460               0-1,787-42,306-102,367
2020Q1               -35,736               0-413-10,094-25,229
2020Q2               -31,134               0-351-11,533-19,250
(h) B8G Gross Saving = f + g
2019Q1               28,642-21422,8162,0354963,511
2019Q2               27,47242118,7603083,1174,866
2019Q3               35,392-79128,3332,7977224,331
2019Q4               33,887-1,36926,1171,3016,0911,748
2019               125,394-1,95396,0256,44010,42614,456
2020Q1               35,025-1,19229,2452,570-1,1775,578
2020Q2               30,74122321,0191,735-4,29912,063
(i) D9_NP_P5 Changes in Capital Account
2019Q1               -4,557-214-2,682-410-1,218-33
2019Q2               -55,588421-54,423-419-1,161-5
2019Q3               -7,005-791-4,306-548-876-484
2019Q4               -45,936-1,369-42,334-660-1,288-285
2019               -113,086-1,953-103,745-2,038-4,543-807
2020Q1               -31,233-1,192-27,993-435-1,263-350
2020Q2               -3,591223-2,962-154-1,363665
(j) P51C Consumption of Fixed Capital
2019Q1               21,704               18,6464611,1151,481
2019Q2               21,790               18,7244631,1151,487
2019Q3               21,920               18,8424661,1151,496
2019Q4               22,441               19,3154781,1151,534
2019               87,854               75,5271,8684,4625,997
2020Q1               23,169               20,0534941,1151,507
2020Q2               23,390               20,2654991,1151,511
(k) B9 Net Lending (+)/Net Borrowing (-) = (h + i) - j
Table 1.2 Generation of  Income Account (€million)
Resources (Received)S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B1G Gross Domestic Product/Gross Value Added               82,7993,79959,4274,4927,4127,669
D3 Subsidies               2,4962771,830420348
Uses (Paid)
D1 Compensation of Employees3522,945               14,3461,8216,048729
D2 Taxes on Production and Imports               4,5403,8523582260104
B2A3GGross Operating Surplus and Gross Mixed income               57,81022346,5532,4871,3647,183
Table 1.3 Allocation of Primary Income Account (€million)
Resources (Received)S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B2A3GGross Operating Surplus and Gross Mixed income               57,81022346,5532,4871,3647,183
D1 Compensation of Employees11322,866                                                            22,866
D2 Taxes on Production and Imports1914,349                                             4,349               
D4 Property Income42,10026,617               2,94320,9448601,869
D41 Interest9,71917,210               64515,99913552
D42 Distributed Income of Corporations3,4796,142               304,313838961
D43 Reinvested Earnings on Direct Foreign Investment17,0492,257               2,260-300
D44 Property Income attributed to Insurance Policy Holders11,854929               86350286
D45 Rents               79               00970
Uses (Paid)
D3 Subsidies3642,132                                             2,132               
D4 Property Income22,13646,582               24,31120,665902704
D41 Interest14,89712,032               3,8216,675902635
D42 Distributed Income of Corporations4,3475,274               4,2721,001                              
D43 Reinvested Earnings on Direct Foreign Investment2,25717,049               16,208841                              
D44 Property Income attributed to Insurance Policy Holders63512,148               012,1480               
D45 Rents               79               90070
B5G Gross National Income               62,92922325,1862,7663,54031,214
Table 1.5 Secondary Distribution of Income Account (€million)
Resources (Received)S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B5GGross National Income               62,92922325,1862,7663,54031,214
D5 Current Taxes on Income, Wealth, etc610,068                                             10,068               
D61Social Contributions04,903               01,3533,5500
D62Social Benefits other than Social Transfers in kind799,555                                                            9,555
D7 Other Current Transfers2,3383,971               1852,2361141,437
Uses (Paid)
D5 Current Taxes on Income, Wealth, etc210,072               4,0091,01905,045
D61Social Contributions04,903                                                            4,903
D62Social Benefits other than Social Transfers in kind1769,457               01,0028,4550
D7 Other Current Transfers1,1915,118               3422,2491,582945
B6GGross Disposable Income               61,87522321,0192,0867,23431,313
Table 1.6 Secondary Distribution of Income Account (€million)
Resources (Received)S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B6GGross Disposable Income               61,87522321,0192,0867,23431,313
D8 Adjustment for the Change in Pension Entitlements0351                                                            351
Uses (Paid)
P3 Final Consumption Expenditure               31,134                                             11,53319,601
D8 Adjustment for the Change in Pension Entitlements0351               035100
B8GGross Saving               30,74122321,0191,735-4,29912,063
Table 1.7 External Account (€million)
Resources (Received)S2 Rest of WorldS1 Total Economy
P7 Imports of Goods and Services75,147               
D1_D8Primary Incomes and Current Transfers44,82785,176
Uses (Paid)
P6 Exports of Goods and Services107,734               
B11 External Balance of Goods & Services-32,586               
D1_D8Primary Incomes and Current Transfers23,904106,100
B12 Current External Balance-11,663               
Table 1.8 Change in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers Account (€million)
LiabilitiesS2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B8G Gross Saving               30,74122321,0191,735-4,29912,063
B12 Current External Balance-11,663                                                                                          
D9 Capital Transfers5718               2700208240
D9 Capital Transfers12711               148051053
P51CConsumption of Fixed Capital               23,390               20,2654991,1151,511
B101Changes in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers-11,6707,3572238771,236-5,71610,738
Table 1.9 Secondary Distribution of Income Account (€million)
LiabilitiesS2 Rest of WorldS1 Total EconomyS1N Not SectorisedS11 Non-Financial CorporationsS12 Financial CorporationsS13 General GovernmentS14+S15 Households incl. NPISH
B101Changes in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers-11,6707,3572238771,236-5,71610,738
P51CConsumption of Fixed Capital               23,390               20,2654991,1151,511
P5 Gross Capital Formation               19,078-22315,4396532,1771,032
NP Acquisitions less Disposals of Non-Produced Assets-7,9107,910               7,910000
B9 Net Lending (+)/Net Borrowing (-)-3,7603,760446-2,2071,081-6,77711,217

Background Notes

Revisions in this release

Revisions to the first quarter of 2020 have been made in line with the main Quarterly National Accounts, International Accounts and Government Accounts.

Seasonally adjusting the Accounts will be challenging until the full scale and shape of the impact COVID-19 has on the time series is better understood. Users should be aware that as further data observations become available in the months and quarters ahead, revisions to the seasonal adjustment models may result in revisions to the quarterly seasonally adjusted series.

Description of Institutional Sectors

In the Sector Accounts, Institutional Sectors are distinguished not in terms of the nature of their production activity (such as agriculture, industry, services, etc.) but rather in terms primarily of the institutional form of the units that make them up. Thus, companies, whether engaged in commercial non-financial or financial business, are grouped in a different sector from households, even though the latter are in many cases also engaged in commercial production, and from government or other non-market producers such as voluntary agencies.

Institutional Sectors

The classification system is that of the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA2010). The sectors and sub-sectors distinguished in the present publication are as follows:

S.1 Resident Economy is the sum of all the sectors of the domestic economy.

S.11 Non-Financial Corporations are companies producing goods and non-financial services on a commercial basis. They include government-controlled companies, private companies and other corporate forms of business, whether owned by residents or non-residents or both. In particular, therefore, Irish subsidiaries of foreign companies and the Irish branches of foreign companies operating in Ireland on a branch basis are included. The foreign subsidiaries of Irish companies and the foreign branches of Irish companies operating abroad are excluded. Large partnerships such as big law and accounting firms, are included in S.11, even though they are not incorporated they are quasi-corporations. Entities which operate as holding companies for non-financial corporations are classified in the financial sector and not here.

S.12 Financial Corporations are corporate bodies producing financial services on a commercial basis. As with S.11, they can take various legal forms, with a range of ownership arrangements. They include banks, insurance corporations and pension funds.

S.13 General Government consists of central and local government. Central government includes the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (formerly the NPRF), and non-commercial agencies owned and funded by government, but does not include commercial state-owned companies (which are proper to S.11 or S.12 as appropriate). The Register of Public Sector Bodies sets out which bodies are included here.

S.1M: S.14 + S.15 Households and Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households. S.14 accounts are the economic transactions of people in their capacity as consumers, employees, self-employed workers, pensioners and recipients of other income and transfers. S.15 consists of non-profit institutions such as charities and non-commercial agencies not owned by the government, such as sports clubs and churches.

S.2 Rest of World. This sector represents the economy's transactions with non-residents. The conceptual definition is the same as in the Balance of Payments (BOP) statistics. In particular, non-residents include foreign subsidiaries of Irish companies, the foreign branches of Irish companies that operate abroad on a branch basis, and the head offices of foreign companies that operate in Ireland on a branch basis.

S.1N Not Sectorised. In the non-financial accounts an additional residual sector is used to report taxes and subsidies on products (D.21, D.31) in the Generation of Income Account (Account 1.2) as it is not possible to allocate these amounts to Institutional Sectors. In addition, throughout these accounts S.1N is used to report the amounts that appear as the statistical discrepancy in the National Income and Expenditure GDP accounts, arising from the use of two independent estimates of GDP (from the Income and Expenditure approaches). In the Annual National Accounts NIE tables 3 and 5, the official estimate of GDP is reported as the average of the two measures, and the discrepancy is therefore displayed as half the difference between the two independent estimates (and thus with different signs in the two tables). The discrepancy is projected forward on a quarterly basis in line with the trends in the Expenditure components and is presented in Table 2 of the Quarterly National Accounts. In the Quarterly Sector Accounts it appears in Gross Domestic Product, the opening item in the Generation of Income Account and is then carried through successive accounts via the balancing item.

Description of Detailed Non-Financial Accounts

Sector Accounts present a coherent overview of all economic processes and the roles played by the various sectors. Each economic process is described in a separate account. The accounts describe successively: generation of income, primary and secondary income distribution, final consumption, redistribution by means of capital transfers, and capital formation. Note that the Production Account (1.1) from the Annual Accounts is not included in these quarterly accounts as the data is not available on a quarterly basis. The accounts record economic transactions, distinguishing between uses and resources (e.g. the resources side of the transaction category Interest (D.41) records the amounts of interest receivable by the different sectors of the economy and the uses side shows interest payable) with a special item to balance the two sides of each account. By passing on the balancing item from one account to the next a connection is created between successive accounts.

The accounts are compiled for the total economy and include accounts for separate domestic sectors and the Rest of World sector. In this way the sector accounts describe:

  • for each economic process the role of each sector, for instance General Government in income redistribution and Financial Corporations in financing.
  • for each sector all economic transactions and their relation with other domestic sectors and the Rest of World.

The successive accounts are explained in more detail below. 

Current Accounts

1.1 Production Account

This account is not presented in the Quarterly Non-Financial Accounts as quarterly data is not available.

1.2 Generation of Income Account

This account displays the transactions through which Gross Domestic Product at market prices is distributed to labour (compensation of employees), capital (operating surplus) and government (the balance of taxes and subsidies on production). The balancing item for the Household and NPISH sector in this account is called mixed income, because apart from operating surplus it also contains compensation for work by self-employed persons and their family members. Gross Operating Surplus/Gross Mixed Income (B.2g/B.3g) is the balancing item for the entire account.

1.3 Allocation of Primary Income Account

This account records, as resources, the income from direct participation in the production process, as well as property income received in exchange for the use of land, financial resources and other intangible assets. In addition, this account records the taxes on production and imports received by the government. On the uses side, property income (including interest, dividends, reinvested earnings and land rent) is recorded as well as the subsidies paid by the government.

On this account the interest paid and received are recorded excluding imputed bank services (financial intermediation services indirectly measured - FISIM). In the national accounts insurance technical reserves are seen as a liability of insurance enterprises and pension funds to policyholders. Therefore, the receipts from investing these reserves are recorded as payments from insurance enterprises and pension funds to households, under Other Investment Income (D.44). The balancing item of this account for each sector is Gross National Income (B.5g). The Primary Income for the total economy is the National Income.

1.4 Memorandum-Entrepreneurial Income Account

This account is not presented in the Quarterly series.

1.5 Secondary Distribution of Income Account

The Secondary Distribution of Income Account shows how primary income is redistributed by means of current taxes on income and wealth, social contributions (including contributions to pension schemes), social benefits (including pension benefits) and other current transfers. The balancing item of this account is Gross Disposable Income (B.6g). For the consuming sectors (Households, NPISH and General Government) this item is passed on to Use of Disposable Income Account (1.6). For the other sectors the disposable income is generally equal to saving. This is then passed on to the Change in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers Account (1.8).

1.6 Use of Disposable Income Account

This account shows the element of disposable income that is spent on final consumption and also the element that is saved. As mentioned above, final consumption only exists for Households, NPISH and General Government. The net equity of Households in pension funds is seen as a financial asset that belongs to Households. Changes in these reserves need to be included in the saving of Households. However, contributions to pension schemes and pension benefits have already been recorded on the Secondary Distribution of Income Account (1.5) as social contributions and social benefits. Therefore, an adjustment is needed in the saving of Households to include the change in pension funds reserves on which they have a definite claim. This adjustment is called Adjustment for the Change in Pension Entitlements (D.8). There is no need for a similar adjustment concerning life insurance because life insurance premiums and benefits are not recorded as current transactions. The balancing item for this account is Gross Saving (B.8g).

1.7 External Account

This account records the summarised transactions of the Rest of World Sector (S.2), including on the uses side exports of goods and services, primary incomes and current transfers receivable. The resources side of this account includes imports of goods and services together with primary incomes and transfers payable. The balancing item is Current External Balance (B.12), which records the balance on current accounts with the Rest of World.

Capital Accounts

1.8 Change in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers

On this account the capital transfers are recorded and combined with gross saving and the current external balance. The resulting balancing item is Changes in Net Worth due to Saving and Capital Transfers (B.10.1).

1.9 Acquisition of Non-Financial Assets Account

On this account, Gross Fixed Capital Formation (P.51), Changes in Inventories (P.52) and Acquisitions less Disposals of Valuables and Non-Produced Non-Financial Assets (N.P.) are recorded among the uses. The decline in the value of fixed capital goods caused by consumption of fixed capital goods is recorded among the resources (P.51c). The balancing item is B.9, Net Lending (shown as a positive number) or Borrowing (shown as a negative). It shows the amount a sector can invest, or has to borrow, as a result of its current and capital transactions.

Seasonal Adjustment

Seasonal adjustment is conducted using the direct seasonal adjustment approach. Under this approach, each individual time series is independently adjusted, i.e. aggregate series are adjusted without reference to the component series.

As part of the seasonal adjustment process, ARIMA models are identified for each series based on unadjusted data spanning Q1 1999 to the first quarter of this year. These models are then applied to the entire series in the next three quarters. Seasonal factors and the parameters of the ARIMA models are updated each quarter.

The adjustments are completed by applying the X-13-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to the unadjusted data. This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment such as, for example:

  • calendar effects, e.g. the timing of Easter
  • outliers, temporary changes and level shifts in the series

For additional information on the use of X-13-ARIMA, see

Derived Seasonally Adjusted Household Saving Ratio

Seasonally adjusted estimates of Household Saving are compiled using the indirect seasonal adjustment approach. Under this approach the two main aggregates, Household Disposable Income (B.6g + D.8) and Final Consumption Expenditure of Households (P.3), are independently adjusted. The derived saving is the difference between the two adjusted series of Household Disposable Income and Final Expenditure of Households. This method for estimating the seasonally adjusted value for a small net residual of two large aggregates, such as Household Saving, is considered to be a more appropriate estimation procedure.

The use of these saving either for financial investment or debt reduction is not recorded in these accounts but is recorded in the financial account (see Quarterly Financial Accounts published by the Central Bank of Ireland and Institutional Sector Accounts Non-Financial and Financial 2018 for annual integrated financial and non financial accounts).

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