Economy of Ireland
The economy of Ireland is a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries and dependent on trade, industry and investment. In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and the EU-27 at 5th in the OECD-28 rankings as of 2008. In terms of GNP per capita, a better measure of national income, Ireland ranks below the OECD average, despite significant growth in recent years, at 10th in the OECD-28 rankings. GDP (national output) is significantly greater than GNP (national income) due to the repatriation of profits and royalty payments by multinational firms based in Ireland.
After a year with stagnant economic activity in 2010, Irish real GDP rose by 2.2% in 2011 and 0.2% in 2012, which was mainly driven by strong improvements in the export sector - while private consumption remained subdued. The economic challenges continued, however, as the prolonged European sovereign-debt crisis caused a new Irish recession starting in Q3 2012, which was still ongoing as of Q2 2013. In May 2013 the European Commission's economic forecast for Ireland predicted its growth rates would return to a positive 1.1% in 2013 and 2.2% in 2014. The Irish economy grew by 4.8% in 2014, with predictions of growth of 6% in 2015. SectorsAlcoholic beverage industry
The drinks industry employs approximately 92,000 people and contributes 2 billion euro annually to the Irish economy making it one of the biggest sectors. Financial services
The financial services sector employs approximately 35,000 people and contributes 2 billion euro in taxes annually to the economy. Ireland is the seventh largest provider of wholesale financial services in Europe. Aircraft leasing
Ireland manages nearly 22% of the fleet of aircraft worldwide and a 40% share of Global fleet of leased aircraft. Ireland has 14 of the top 15 lessors by fleet size. Engineering
The Engineering sector employs over 18,500 people and contributes approximately 4.2 billion euro annually. This includes approximately 180 companies in areas such of industrial products and services, aerospace, automotive and clean tech. Information and communications technology
The Information and communications technology (ICT) sector employs over 37,000 people and generates 35 billion annually. The top ten ICT companies are located in Ireland, with over 200 companies in total. Software
The software sector employs approximately 24,000 people and contributes 16 billion euro to the economy. Ireland is the world's second largest exporter of software. Medical technologies
The Medical technology (Med Tech) sector employs nearly 25,000 people and generates 9.4 billion euro annually, with over one hundred companies in the country. Pharmaceuticals
The pharmaceutical sector employs approximately 50,000 people and is responsible for 55 billion euro of exports. Exports
Exports play an important role in Ireland's economic growth. Ireland now ranks as the seventh largest producer of zinc concentrates in the world, and the twelfth largest producer of lead concentrates. The country is one of the largest exporters of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and software-related goods and services in the world.
The index ranks 60 countries according to their degree of globalisation relative to their GDP. While the Irish economy has significant debt problems in 2011, exporting remains a success. Primary sector
The primary sector constitutes about 5% of Irish GDP, and 8% of Irish employment. In 2012 Ireland exported approximately €9 billion worth of agri-food and drink (about 8.4% of Ireland's exports), mainly as cattle, beef, and dairy products. Ireland's agri-food exports are expected to grow and are led by a number of large Irish companies including Kerry Group, Glanbia and Greencore.
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