GeographyIQ.comGeographyIQ.com
  Home
  Rankings


A B C D E F
G H I J K L
M N O P Q R
S T U V W Y
Z          


Currency Converter

 


World > Europe > Ireland > Economy (Notes)

Ireland - Economy (Notes)


ECONOMY
Ireland boasts a vibrant, globalized economy, with GDP per capita second only to Luxembourg's in the EU. The 'Celtic Tiger' period of the mid-late 1990s saw several years of double-digit GDP growth, driven by a progressive industrial policy that boosted large-scale foreign direct investment and exports. GDP growth dipped during the immediate post-9/11 global economic slowdown, but has averaged roughly 5 percent yearly since 2004, the best performance for this period among the original EU 15 Member States. Since 2004, the Irish economy has generated roughly 90,000 new jobs annually, attracting over 200,000 foreign workers, mostly from the new EU accession states, in an unprecedented immigration influx. The construction sector has accounted for approximately one-quarter of these jobs, and economists caution that any slowdown in Ireland's vibrant housing market would have ramifications for continued GDP growth.

Economic and trade ties are an important facet of overall U.S.-Irish relations. In 2005, U.S. exports to Ireland were valued at $9 billion, while Irish exports to the U.S. totaled $28 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The range of U.S. exports includes electrical components and equipment, computers and peripherals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and livestock feed. Irish exports to the United States represent approximately 20% of all Irish exports, and have roughly the same value as Irish exports to the UK (inclusive of Northern Ireland). Exports to the United States include alcoholic beverages, chemicals and related products, electronic data processing equipment, electrical machinery, textiles and clothing, and glassware. According to Ireland's Central Statistical Office, Irish exports to the United States from January to September 2006 rose by 7% compared to the same period in 2005, while Irish imports from the United States from January to September 2006 fell by 14% compared to the same period in 2005.

U.S. investment has been particularly important to the growth and modernization of Irish industry over the past 25 years, providing new technology, export capabilities, and employment opportunities. As of year-end 2005, the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Ireland stood at $62 billion, more than double the U.S. total for China and India combined ($25.3 billion). Currently, there are approximately 620 U.S. subsidiaries in Ireland, employing roughly 100,000 people and spanning activities from manufacturing of high-tech electronics, computer products, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals to retailing, banking, finance, and other services. In more recent years, Ireland has also become an important research and development (R&D) center for U.S. firms in Europe.

Many U.S. businesses find Ireland an attractive location to manufacture for the EU market, since it is inside the EU customs area and uses the euro. In 2005, U.S. firms accounted for 61% of Ireland's total exports of euro 89 billion. Other reasons for Ireland's attractiveness include: a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate for domestic and foreign firms; the quality and flexibility of the English-speaking work force; cooperative labor relations; political stability; pro-business government policies; a transparent judicial system; and, the pulling power of existing companies operating successfully (a 'clustering' effect). Factors that negatively affect Ireland's ability to attract investment include: increasing labor and energy costs (especially when compared to low-cost countries in Eastern Europe and Asia), skilled labor shortages, inadequate infrastructure (such as in the transportation and internet/broadband sectors), and absolute price levels that are ranked among the highest in Europe.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Euro Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Euro Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





   Privacy & Disclaimer

   Portions of this site are based on public domain works from the U.S. Dept. of State and the CIA World Fact Book
   All original material copyright © 2002 - GeographyIQ.com. All Rights Reserved.
   For comments and feedback, write to us at [email protected].