Thursday, December 22, 2011

22/12/2011: Irish Foreign Assets and Liabilities: Q3 2011

Some interesting data courtesy of CSO's Quarterly International Investment Position and External Debt for Q3 2011.

The summary:
Yep, pretty dramatic. The above is in billions of euros. Let's look at the historical series and decomposition by IFSC and non-IFSC:

  • Overall Total Foreign Assets in the country amounted to €2,587,566 million (€2.59 trillion) in Q3 2011, which is up on €2,544,483mln in Q2 2011. Total Foreign Assets are up 1.69% qoq and down 1.51% yoy.
  • Of the above, €2,093,152mln accrues to IFSC or 80.89% of all our Foreign Assets. This is up from €2,039,307mln in Q2 2011. IFSC assets are up 2.64% qoq and 1.35% yoy.
  • Non-IFSC Foreign Assets amounted to €494,404mln or 19.11% of our total Foreign Assets. These assets are down 2.13% qoq and 11.99% yoy.
  • Overall, Total Foreign Liabilities (Debt) are up from €2,678,809mln (€2.68 trillion) in Q2 2011 to €2,735,556mln (€2.74 trillion) in Q3 2011. Total Foreign Liabilities are now 2.12% qoq but down 1.50% yoy.
  • Of the above, €2,072,484mln accrues to IFSC or 75.76% of all our Foreign Liabilities. This is up from €2,007,592mln in Q2 2011. IFSC liabilities are up 3.23% qoq but down 0.2% yoy.
  • Non-IFSC Foreign Liabilities amounted to €663,072mln or 24.24% of our total Foreign Liabilities. These debts are down 1.21% qoq and down 5.34% yoy.
Charts illustrate:


The above figures are massive, but the balance of them is shocking:
  • In Q3 2011, Net External Liabilities position (Net IIP) was €148,000mln up 10.18% qoq but down 1.37% yoy
  • The above accounted for the surplus of €20,668mln in IFSC - down 34.83% qoq but up 282% yoy
  • Which means that non-IFSC net debt was €168,668mln - more than our entire GDP - which is up 1.58% qoq and 21.6% yoy.
Yes, that's right - the 'bad' IFSC had a positive impact on our net External Liabilities position in Q3 2011, while the 'good' Ireland Inc had a massive shortfall of more than 100% of its GDP.

So now, let's think in relative terms - relative to our GDP:
  • In Q3 2011 our Total Gross External Liabilities stood at a massive 1,738.9% of our GDP
  • Of the above, 1,317.4% of our GDP was accounted for IFSC, and
  • 421.5% of our GDP was captured by non-IFSC.
Now, that's pretty impressive... 17.4 times the GDP! And even at 4.2 times the GDP for non-IFSC foreign liabilities (keep in mind, these are just foreign liabilities, not capturing internal debts and other internal liabilities) we are pretty heavily under water.
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