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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Quarterly National Accounts

Quarter 1 2018

GDP and GNP (seasonally adjusted) at constant 2016 prices
Q1 2018
    Amount €mQuarterly % change
GDP76,269-0.6
GNP59,065-4.9

Quarterly decrease of 0.6 per cent in Real GDP

Figure 1 Seasonally Adjusted growth rates(% change on previous quarter)
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On a seasonally adjusted basis, initial estimates indicate that GDP in volume terms decreased by 0.6 per cent for the first quarter of 2018. Real GNP decreased by 4.9 per cent over the same period.

Mixed results across economic sectors

Value added of Information & Communication rose by 13.7 per cent in volume terms in Q1 2018 compared with the previous quarter. Public Administration, Education and Health recorded a 2.4 per cent increase in real terms with Real Estate activities recording a 0.8 per cent increase, see Table 5. Industry (excluding Construction) declined by 9.7 per cent over the same period while Arts and Entertainment declined 3.7 per cent and Professional and Admin Services by 2.7 per cent.  Agriculture recorded a decline of 1.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter with Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants recording a modest decline of 1.1 per cent over the period.

Net Exports and Personal Consumption increase, Capital Investment declines

On the expenditure side of the accounts (Table 7), Exports decreased by 5.8 per cent in Q1 2018 compared with Q4 2017 which when combined with an import decrease of 2.5 per cent meant overall net exports for the quarter declined by 13.2 per cent.  Capital formation increased by 0.6 per cent in Q1 2018 compared with the previous quarter while government expenditure showed an increase of 0.4 per cent over the same period. Personal consumption, which accounted for 50 per cent of domestic demand in Q1 2018, decreased by 0.3 per cent compared with the previous quarter.

Total domestic demand increased by 3.7 per cent in Q1 2018 over Q4 2017. When combined with the 13.2 per cent decrease in net exports the result was an overall reduction in real GDP in Q1 2018 of 0.6 per cent. With Factor Income outflows 9.9 per cent lower in Q1 2018 (€15,489m) compared with Q4 2017, GNP exhibited an overall decrease of 4.9 per cent in the period. Modified Domestic Demand, an indicator of domestic demand that excludes the impact of trade in aircraft by aircraft leasing companies and trade in R&D and intellectual property, increased by 2.8 per cent in Q1 2018 over Q4 2017.

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

Comparisons with Q1 2017

Initial estimates for the first quarter of 2018 indicate that there was an increase of 9.1 per cent in GDP in real terms in Q1 2018 compared with Q1 2017. Information & communication made the most positive contribution to the Q1 result, rising by 33.9 per cent with Construction recording an increase of 12.0 per cent. Increases were also recorded in Financial and Insurance activities (8.9 per cent), Public Administration, Education and Health (6.4 per cent), Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants (2.0 per cent) and Real Estate activities (1.9 per cent). Industry (excluding Construction) showed a decline of 1.4 per cent year-on-year while Agriculture declined by 6.2 per cent compared with Q1 2017.

On the expenditure side there was an increase in net exports of €5,624m (28.2 per cent) during the quarter. Personal consumption expenditure exhibited a year-on-year increase of 2.7 per cent while capital investment declined by 3.8 per cent in Q1 2018 compared with Q1 2017. Modified Domestic Demand increased by 13.4 per cent in Q1 2018 compared with Q1 2017.

Factor income outflows were 10.0 per cent higher than in the same quarter of 2017 resulting in an increase in GNP of 8.8 per cent year-on-year.