Minister Donohoe welcomes CSO data confirming continued momentum in the Irish economy

11th July, 2019

  • Final estimate for 2018 shows GDP up by 8.2 per cent over 2017
  • In the first quarter of 2019, real GDP rose by 2.4 per cent relative to the previous quarter and was 6.3 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.
  • Housing output up 24 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, reflecting increased supply

The CSO today (Thursday) released the Quarterly National Accounts for the first quarter of 2019 and final national accounts estimates for the full year of 2018.  

Commenting on the figures, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: ‘Today’s figures are strong. Despite international headwinds, they show continued momentum in the Irish economy with year-on-year growth of 6.3 per cent in GDP in the first quarter on the back of 8.2 per cent growth in 2018.  This tallies with what we have seen in the labour market, with employment growth of just under 4 per cent in the first quarter, as well as tax receipts, with all tax heads having performed strongly over the same period’.

“Growth in the economy is broad-based, with positive contributions from both the domestic and multinational sectors. Exports of goods and services exceeded €100 billion for the second successive quarter. On the domestic side, household consumption was up 2.6 per cent year-on-year, while investment in housing increased by 24 per cent, reflecting a much needed pick-up in supply, which has contributed to the recent moderation in house prices.

“I note also the publication of GNI* for 2018, which at €197.5 billion results in a debt/GNI* ratio of 104 per cent. In other words, our debt burden is still more than our underlying national income. This highlights the ongoing need to reduce our debt burden.

“Early indications suggest solid growth in the second quarter of 2019 as well, particularly in light of the monthly unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent recorded in June, the lowest since early 2005. Overall, we are seeing continued improvements in living standards.

“Against this, there is a continued softness in the international environment, particularly in manufacturing sectors in some of our closest trading partners. The Brexit cloud hangs over the economy and, as the Government outlined this week, the impact on the most-exposed sectors of the economy could be severe.  Careful management of the economy and of the public finances is needed now more than ever in order to chart our way forward through the uncertain times ahead.”