Irish Economy: Some Key Facts
|For the second time
in a generation, monumental economic mismanagement has made Ireland
unprepared for a global recession. Membership of the Eurozone has only
saved the country from the fate of Iceland - - double-digit interest
rates and an IMF bailout. Political leaders who believed they had
invented the free lunch, during the construction boom, are still in
denial about the challenges in the post-Celtic Tiger period. We say
America" and President Obama,
as Irish economic fortunes are overwhelmingly dependent on America's.
remains amongst the most
expensive in the world and there are no government proposals
to change the system of poor planning and the creation of an artificial
scarcity of land, in a country that is 4% urbanised.
Foreign firms, mainly American, account for 90% of Ireland's Exports. In 1973, the year Ireland joined the then European Economic Community, 55% of total Irish exports went to the UK. In 2009, of the 10% of exports from Irish-owned firms, 50% go to the UK.
Ireland is more dependent on US firms than any other developed country
half of foreign companies based in Ireland regret decision; Dell supplier
Flextronics to axe 118 jobs in Limerick
84% of the shares of Ireland's biggest company CRH, which accounts for more than
30% of the value of the Irish stock exchange, were owned by foreign residents in Dec 2007. Only about 2,000 of CRH's payroll of 92,000, is located in Ireland
Ireland plans to be a "world-class" knowledge economy in 4 years; In
2008, the leading home-grown high-tech firm Iona Technologies, was sold to a US
Irish full-time employment in manufacturing and
internationally traded services fell 10,297 in the period 2000-2007 while the
total workforce expanded by 605,000 - - 40%
Irish household debt levels @ 200% of GNP among
highest in the world; Property taxes as % of total revenue up from
4% in 1995 to 17% in 2007; Current public spending grew at annual
14.5% rate 1997-2007
Irish investors were the second biggest net investors in commercial
property across Europe in 2007; Irish investment of €13.9bn compared with a mere €200m in venture capital
investment for Irish business
Property-related activities account for almost two-thirds of outstanding Irish
private sector lending; Irish farm land prices are the highest in Europe; Dublin office
rents are among the highest in the world
An estimated 17% of Irish housing stock is empty
Irish construction output in 2007 was 23.5% of GNP- rate of housebuilding in the Irish construction sector was 21 units per 1,000 of the population in 2006 compared with average of 5 units
across Western Europe; at least 19% of the total workforce was directly or indirectly dependent on construction
- SEE also:
June 2008 Euroconstruct update
International house price comparison index for 2007
ranks Dublin, Ireland and Beverly Hills, California for world's most
expensive comparable management level family homes
World Bank study says 12 economies account for more
than two-thirds of world’s output; Chinese economy size cut by 40%;
Ireland is fourth most expensive world economy
Irish Public Sector Pensions' bill jumped €743m to €1.8bn in 5 years to 2008 - up 66.5% compared with pay rise of 45.4%; 57% of Irish private sector workers have no occupational pension
Taoiseach/Prime Minister 1997-2008, was the cheerleader-in-chief of the
he said that had listened for seven
years to warnings and arguments about difficulties in the construction
"I think you have to look at the asset. This is the
question: if you are borrowing 'x', if you sell the asset, if there's a
bit of a downturn, will you get 'x' back in return? That's the issue. At
the moment, there doesn't seem to be an indication [of difficulties].
"I mean quite frankly, if you had taken the advice a year
ago you would have lost a lot of money. Everybody said we're going to
see a huge downturn in 2005 linking into 2006 - they were entirely
"On the other side of the election we'll get back to
normality. And I think that normality will be the soft landing. The
construction projections were that we will move from something like
93,000 houses to 80-something. Now that's not going to create any kind
of a difficulty."
"Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity.
I don't know how people who engage in that don't
commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being
able to actively change something."
"But there is no place for negativity. No
need for any pessimism. Above all, there is no place for politically
motivated attempts to talk down the economy and the achievements of our
people across all sectors."
In the period 1977-1982, the first of 2 occasions
in a generation that the Irish economy was monumentally mismanaged, the
national debt trebled.
In the period 2007-2012, the National Debt will
also treble, according to Dept of Finance estimates.
- Dec 2008: Irish
National Debt increased to €50.7bn/32.5% of gross national product (GNP) -
up from 23.3% in 2007
- Dec 2008:
General Government Debt/GDP ratio at 41.3% up from
24.8% in 2007. Euro
rules limit GGD/GDP ratio is to 60%
Dec 2008: Annual
Exchequer Deficit/GDP @ 6.25% compared with Euro rules target of 3% and
9.25% in 2009; Dept of Finance forecasts General Government Debt of
90% of GDP by 2013 if public borrowing isn't cut.
Borrowing of €20bn
required in 2009, if current spending trends continue,
with €11bn of this borrowed to pay for current spending
and €9bn borrowed to pay for capital projects. If this
process continues unchecked, borrowing for current
spending will increase from €11bn to €17bn by 2013.
- Dec 2008: Irish Private Sector Credit (ex IFSC
issues)/GNP 200%; Dec 2003 100% (Goodbody est) - Germany & France @
105%; Finland @ 84%. Irish credit growth has been funded out of external
resources, with net external liabilities rising from 12% of GNP in 2003 to
67% of GNP at the end of 2007
- Dec 2008:
Irish household debt @178% of
disposable income - up from 48% in 1995 (Goodbody est)
- Irish GNP 2008: €156.3bn - Dept of Finance
- Irish GDP 2008: €187.4bn
- Dept of Finance
- Population 4.2m - Census of Population
Dept of Finance
update on the Euro Stability Pact for European Commission
- Jan 09, 2009
detail of National Accounts
- Dec 18, 2008
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total value
of all goods and services produced in an economy in a given time period, whether
by domestic or foreign-owned firms, native or migrant workers.
Gross National Product (GNP) is the total value of all goods and services
produced in an economy in a given time period which accrues to the residents of
a country, be they resident there or overseas.
made by CRH, which has over 40,000 employed in the US, are counted as part
of Irish GNP - - even though over 80% of its shareholders are foreign residents.
The difference is made up of what are termed net factor flows, which includes
net profit repatriation by multinationals and interest on the foreign component
of the national debt. In Ireland's case, GDP is significantly larger than GNP
because of the large US multinational presence there.
those who search for truth. Doubt those who claim to have found
Gide (1869-1951) Nobel Laureate 1947