In the previous post I covered the revisions to our GDP and GNP introduced by the CSO. Setting the caveats set out in this discussion aside, what are the core underlying dynamics in the National Accounts?
Let's deal with sectoral distribution of output, expressed in constant factor cost terms:
- Agriculture, forestry & fishing sector output registered EUR1.042 billion in Q1 2014, which is up 11.2% on Q1 2013. Pricing effects contribute to the improvement which is now running at double digits y/y for three quarters consecutively. Compared to Q1 2011, output in this sector is up 15.3%, although activity remains below 2006-2007 average (some -6.5% lower).
- Industry output is at EUR11.462 billion, which is 2.1% ahead of Q1 2013. This marks first quarter of increases and the pace of expansion is not exactly fast. Compared to Q1 2011 output in the Industry is up only 2.9% and compared to @006-2007 average it is down 9%.
- Distribution, Transport, Software and Communication sector activity is at EUR9.775 billion in Q1 2014, up 8.0% y/y, marking the first quarter of increases after four consecutive quarters of y/y declines. The sector is down 2.5% on Q1 2011 and is -7.8% below 2006-2007 average.
- Public Administration and Defence sector activity is at EUR1.495 billion in Q1 2014, down 2.0% y/y for 21st consecutive quarter of y/y decreases. The sector is now down 7% on Q1 2011 and 16.6% below activity in 2006-2007.
- Other Services (including Rents) are up at EUR17.064 in Q1 2014, a rise of 3.9% y/y and marking 12th consecutive quarter of increases. Sector activity is now up 11% on Q1 2011 and is up 10.2% on 2006-2007 levels. All of this is down to MNCs operating in ICT services sector and much of the increase on 2006-2007 levels is accounted for by tax optimisation, not by real activity.
- Within Industry, Building & Construction sub-sector posted EUR0.719 worth of activity in Q1 2014, which is 7.6% ahead of Q1 2013, marking a slowdown in the rate of growth from Q2-Q4 2013. The sub-sector now posted expansion over the last 6 consecutive quarters. Still, Q1 2014 activity is 4.8% behind Q1 2011 and is down 57.1% on 2006-2007 average.
- Also within Industry, Transportable Goods Industries and Utilities sub-sector activity registered at EUR10.744 billion in Q1 2014 - an increase of 1.8% y/y and the first quarter of expansion. The sub-sector activity is now up 3.4% on Q1 2011 and is basically unchanged on 2006-2007 average.
So in the nutshell, only two sectors activity is currently running at above 2006-2007 average levels: Other Services (aka ICT Services MNCs) and Transportable Goods Industries & Utilities. All other sectors are running below 2006-2007 levels.
Charts below illustrate y/y growth rates in the sectors: