Economy of Ireland

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ireland > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging a robust 9% in 1995-2000. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 38% of GDP and about 80% of exports and employs 28% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Ireland's robust growth, the economy is also benefiting from a rise in consumer spending and recovery in both construction and business investment. Over the past decade, the Irish government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb inflation, reduce government spending, increase labor force skills, and promote foreign investment. Ireland joined in launching the euro currency system in January 1999 along with 10 other EU nations. The Irish economy is in danger of overheating, with the tight labor market driving up wage demands and inflation.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $81.9 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 8.4% (1999 est.), 9.9% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,600 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  4%
industry:  38%
services:  58% (1999)
Population below poverty line: 10% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 27.3% (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (1999), 5.6% (2000)
Labor force: 1.82 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: services 64%, industry 28%, agriculture 8% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (1999), 4.1% (2000)
Budget:
revenues:  $25.7 billion
expenditures:  $19.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $2 billion (2000)
Industries: food products, brewing, textiles, clothing; chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, transportation equipment, glass and crystal; software
Industrial production growth rate: 10% (1999 est.), 14% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 19.542 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  94.42%
hydro:  4.23%
nuclear:  0%
other:  1.35% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 18.414 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 50 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 290 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; beef, dairy products
Exports: $66 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.), $73.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; live animals, animal products
Exports - partners: EU 59% (UK 19%, Germany 9%, France 7%), US 20% (2000)
Imports: $44 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.), $45.7 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals; petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Imports - partners: EU 54% (UK 29%, Germany 6%, France 5%), US 18%, Japan 5%, Singapore 4% (2000)
Debt - external: $11 billion (1998)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $245 million (2000)
Currency: Irish pound (IEP); euro (EUR)
note:  on 1 January 1999, the EU introduced the euro as a common currency that is now being used by financial institutions in Ireland at a fixed rate of 0.787564 Irish pounds per euro and will replace the local currency for all transactions in 2002.

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ireland > Map Economy History