About Ireland and Key Financial Statistics

About Ireland and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP - the world's largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout program. In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up and GDP grew by 3.6%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 4.2% of GDP. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland's economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% has been central to encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to avoid taxation. Amid growing international pressure the government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a loophole.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$236.4 billion (2014 est.)

$224.7 billion (2013 est.)

$221.5 billion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 1.6

% Industry: 25.6

% Services: 72.8

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture: 5

% Industry: 19

% Services: 76

Per Capita Income:

$51,300 (2014 est.)

$48,700 (2013 est.)

$48,100 (2012 est.)


$144.8 billion (2014 est.)

$116.1 billion (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products

Export Partners:

US 20.6%, UK 16%, Belgium 14.1%, Germany 6.8%, Switzerland 6.3%, France 5.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2014)


$84.38 billion (2014 est.)

$66.1 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing

Import Partners:

UK 38.8%, US 10.3%, Germany 8.5%, Netherlands 6.2%, China 4% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

0.3% (2014 est.)

0.5% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.7489 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

0.755 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

11.3% (2014 est.)

13.1% (2013 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

    • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable

    • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA

    • A: Economic situation can affect finance

    • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment

    • BB: More prone to changes in the economy

    • B: Financial situation varies noticeably

    • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings