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Introduction - Ireland:
Location - Ireland:
People - Ireland:
Government - Ireland:
Economy - Ireland:

Economy overview

Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging 6% in 1995-2006. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services. Industry accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and 29% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Irelands growth, the economy has also benefited from a rise in consumer spending, construction, and business investment. Per capita GDP is 40% above that of the four big European economies and the second highest in the EU behind Luxembourg. Over the past decade, the Irish Government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb price and wage inflation, reduce government spending, increase labor force skills, and promote foreign investment. Ireland joined in circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU nations.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$180.7 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$204.4 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

6% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$44,500 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 5%
industry: 46%
services: 49% (2002 est.)

Labor force

2.12 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 8%
industry: 29%
services: 64% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.3% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

10% (1997 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 27.3% (1997)

Distribution of family income gini index

35.9 (1996)

Inflation rate consumer prices

3.9% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

28% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $74.49 billion
expenditures: $73.05 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.5 billion (2006 est.)

Public debt

22.8% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; beef, dairy products


steel, lead, zinc, silver, aluminum, barite, and gypsum mining processing; food products, brewing, textiles, clothing; chemicals, pharmaceuticals; machinery, rail transportation equipment, passenger and commercial vehicles, ship construction and refurbishment; glass and crystal; software, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

5% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

23.26 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

23.23 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

1.6 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

182,400 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

23,360 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

204,400 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

855 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

4.295 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

3.44 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

19.82 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$9.45 billion (2006 est.)


$119.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; live animals, animal products

Exports partners

US 18.8%, UK 17.4%, Belgium 15.9%, Germany 7.5%, France 5.6%, Italy 4.1% (2006)


$87.36 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing

Imports partners

UK 37.3%, US 11.6%, Germany 9.5%, Netherlands 4.6% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$842.5 million (August 2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

ODA, $607 million (2004)

Debt external

$1.392 trillion (30 June 2006)

Currency code

euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Ireland:
Transportation - Ireland:
Military - Ireland:
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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