Back To Top

Your Lowtax Account


Ireland: Country and Foreign Investment

Economy and Currency

The Irish economy was prosperous, due at least in part to the energetic pro-business stance of successive governments, but did not escape the global downturn in 2008 and was one of the EU countries worst hit by the economic recession in 2009.

Year
real GDP 
growth
1999
12.0%
2000
10.4%
2001
6.6%
2002
6.9%
2003
2.4%
2004
4.5%
2005
4.7%
2006
5.7%
2007
6.0%
2008
-0.7%
2009
-7.0%
2010
-0.8%
2011
1.4%
2012
0.7%

The IMF said in June 2009 that Ireland, after being a 'star performer', had been hit particularly hard by the global economic and financial crisis, reflecting significant vulnerabilities built up during the boom years, amplified by the openness of the economy to global shocks. Locally, according to the IMF, there were imbalances: credit supply accommodated an unsustainable rise in property prices; banks’ exposure to property lending soared while their reliance on wholesale funding intensified; and, as wages climbed rapidly, international competitiveness declined.

Following a decade of close to balance or surplus fiscal positions, the general government deficit was 7% of GDP in 2008 as property-related revenues collapsed. The structural deficit is estimated to have reached 12.5% of GDP in 2008. Gross public debt reached 43% of GDP.

Real GDP growth was expected to be 1.4% for 2011, and the budget deficit was cut to 10.1% - a figure within the target of 10.6% set as part of the EU/IMF programme; it improved further to 8.5% in 2012. GDP is expected to be around 0.7% in 2012.

Unemployment reached 14.4% in 2011 and is expected to be 14.6% in 2012. Inflation was estimated at 2.6% in 2011 and 1.3% in 2012. GDP per head in 2012 was USD41,700 (US$41,500 in 2011).

The Irish currency is now of course the euro, but its 'legacy' currency is the Irish Pound, managed until 1999 by the Irish Central Bank.

Ireland has no exchange controls.

 

 

Back to Ireland Index »