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CSO statistical release, 15 March 2018, 11am

Quarterly National Accounts

Quarter 4 2017 and Year 2017 (Preliminary)

  GDP and GNP at constant 2015 prices
         Jan-Dec 2017
    Amount €mAnnual % change

Annual increase of 7.8 per cent in Real GDP in 2017

Figure 1 Seasonally Adjusted growth rates(% change on previous quarter)
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Preliminary estimates indicate that GDP in volume terms increased by 7.8 per cent for the year 2017.  GNP showed an increase of 6.6 per cent in 2017 over 2016.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, constant price GDP for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased by 3.2 per cent compared with the previous quarter while GNP increased by 6.3 per cent over the same period.

Value for all non-financial sectors increased in 2017

Value added of industry (excl. construction) rose by 8.9 per cent in volume terms in 2017 compared to 2016, with Manufacturing recording a 9.2 per cent increase, see Table 1.  The Information and Communication and the Construction sectors both recorded a 16.8 per cent increase in real terms in the year.  Professional Admin and Support Services increased by 10.8 per cent, while the Agriculture Sector increased by 3.1 per cent.

Net Exports and Personal Consumption increase, Capital Investment declines

On the expenditure side of the accounts (Table 3), net exports rose strongly by 65.2 per cent during 2017.  Personal Consumption, which accounts for almost half of Domestic Demand, rose by 1.9 per cent while Government expenditure exhibited an increase of 1.8 per cent over the same period. Capital Investment declined by 22.3 per cent in 2017 compared with the previous year.  Total Domestic Demand decreased by 7.9 per cent in 2017 compared with 2016.  Modified Domestic Demand increased by 3.9 per cent over the year.

Exports grew 6.9 per cent during the year while Imports declined by 6.2 per cent. Overall net exports for the year increased by €40,740m which when combined with the 7.9 per cent decrease in domestic demand, resulted in an overall increase in real GDP in 2017 of 7.8 per cent. Factor income outflows were 13.5 per cent higher in 2017 (€6,695m) compared with 2016 leading to an overall increase in real GNP of 6.6 per cent.

The calculation methods for quarterly accounts are similar to those used in the annual National Income and Expenditure. As some of the available sources are of lesser reliability than those used for the annual national accounts, the quarterly estimates are subject to a greater margin of error than the annual figures. These preliminary estimates will therefore be revised when the next detailed annual results are published.

Increase of 6.3 per cent in GNP (seasonally adjusted) in Quarter 4

Initial estimates for the fourth quarter of 2017 indicate that there was an increase of 3.2 per cent in GDP in real terms in Q4 2017 compared to the previous quarter. Industry (excl. construction) made the most positive contribution to the Q4 result, rising by 8.9 per cent (within which Manufacturing recorded a 9.1 per cent increase). Increases were also recorded in Information and Communication (3.5 per cent), Construction (2.9 per cent) Financial and Insurance Activities (1.8 per cent) and Professional, Admin and Support Services (1.6 per cent). Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants increased by 1.1 per cent over the period compared with Q3 2017, while Agriculture decreased by 6.2 per cent.

On the expenditure side Capital investment exhibited an increase of 6.1 per cent while Personal Consumption expenditure increased by 0.3 per cent in Q4 compared to Q3.  There was a modest increase in net exports of €475m (1.6 per cent) during the quarter, with the increase in exports in money terms outpacing the equivalent increase in imports. Total Domestic Demand decreased by 2.2 per cent in Q4 compared with Q3. Modified Domestic Demand fell by 4.1 per cent over the same period.

Factor income outflows were €256m lower than in the previous quarter leading to an overall increase in GNP of 6.3 per cent for the fourth quarter compared with the previous quarter.