Minister Donohoe welcomes Q3 GDP numbers confirming continued momentum in the economy despite external uncertainties

13th December, 2019

  • In the third quarter of 2019, real GDP rose by 1.7 per cent relative to the previous quarter, and was 5 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.
  • GDP up 5.9 per cent over first three quarters of the year.
  • Personal consumption grew at a solid rate of 3.3 per cent year-on-year, consistent with employment growth and tax receipts.
  • Exports reached a record level of €110 billion in the third quarter.
  • Modified domestic demand (proxy for domestic economy) up 3.5 per cent year-on-year

The CSO today (13th December) published the Quarterly National Accounts for the third quarter of 2019.  Commenting on the figures, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T,D, said:

“Despite significant external headwinds, not least slowing global growth and Brexit related uncertainty, today’s figures confirm the momentum in the Irish economy that we have seen in other recent data releases. While annual growth in GDP remains strong, the domestic economy is also growing at a robust rate, with modified domestic demand up 3.5 per cent year-on-year. These figures are very much in line with a range of other indicators such as employment growth and taxation receipts.  For instance, the level of employment increased by 60,000 (+2.7 per cent) on average over the first three quarters, while more recently, tax revenues were up 6.7 per cent to end November 2019.

“Overall growth in the economy continues to be broad-based, with positive contributions from both the domestic and multinational sectors. Exports reached a record level of €110 billion, the fourth successive quarter above €100 billion. This shows the resilience of our economic model in the face of external headwinds. On the domestic side, household consumption was up 3.3 per cent year-on-year, supported by jobs growth and pay increases, while investment in new housing increased by 22 per cent, reflecting a much needed pick-up in supply.

“Early indications suggest solid growth in the fourth quarter as well, particularly in light of the monthly unemployment rate of 4.8 per cent recorded in November. Overall, we are seeing continued improvements in living standards. 

Of course, today’s growth numbers along with record high jobs numbers and an unemployment rate that is back to pre-recession levels point to an economy that is at or very close to capacity. We must remain conscious of the risks of over-heating in the years ahead. Careful management of the economy and the public finances is needed now more than ever. That is one of the reasons why I am targeting a debt ratio of 85 per cent of GNI* by 2025.”


Note to editors:

Modified domestic demand, a proxy for the domestic economy, is the sum of personal and government consumption and investment, excluding investment in imported IP and aircraft for leasing. It also excludes changes in the value of stocks.

GNI* (modified gross national income) is a measure of national income that excludes a number of globalisation related distortions affecting Ireland’s national accounts, namely IP onshoring, aircraft leasing and factor income of redomiciled plcs.

The Debt to GNI* ratio is estimated at 100 per cent for 2019.