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Finance | Comparing Ireland’s economic performance among other EU zone and European countries and addressing the accuracy of the measurement of the economy

To ask the Minister for Finance the extent to which positive conclusions can be drawn from this country’s economic performance when considered alongside other EU zone countries and all other European countries; if the methodology for the measurement of the economy here continues to be robust and accurate; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


In 2022, the Irish economy continued to exhibit strong growth when compared to its EU and Eurozone counterparts. Irish GDP grew by 12 per cent, compared to growth rates of around 3½ per cent in the Eurozone and wider European Union. This is reflective of very strong growth in the multinational sector, where the value of goods exports produced and shipped from here increased by 26 per cent last year.

There are no inaccuracies in the way that Irish GDP is calculated, and it is measured in the same way here as it is measured across all European countries. However, as I have noted on numerous occasions GDP is not an accurate measure to be used in assessing the living standards of Irish residents, and my Department has been pro-active in highlighting this. This is why my Department and many other institutions use measures such as GNI* and modified domestic demand (MDD) which strip out the main globalisation-related distortions from GDP. MDD increased by 8.2 per cent in 2022, representing strong growth in the domestic sector, some of which is boosted due to the comparison with 2021 during which we had a lock-down period.

At the same time, it is important to note that there is considerable genuine value added created in Ireland by the multinational sector. Pharmaceutical exports from Ireland reached €134 billion last year, up by roughly 30 per cent, while exports in the ICT sector grew by 13 per cent in 2022, despite the challenges in that sector.

Furthermore, the substantive operations of these firms is borne out by the fact that over 300,000 people are employed in the multinational sector in Ireland, roughly one-eighth of our labour force. As well as employment, the multinational sector plays a key role in supporting the domestic economy via income and corporate taxes, and indirectly through trading with Irish SMEs.





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