Thursday, December 10, 2015

10/12/15: Irish National Accounts 3Q: Post 2: Annual GDP and GNP Growth

In the first post of the series, I covered Irish National Accounts 3Q: Sectoral Growth results (

Now, consider data for GDP and GNP aggregates. Starting with seasonally unadjusted data (real variables) to allow for y/y comparatives.

Taxes at Constant Factor Costs:

  • In 3Q 2015, Taxes at Constant Factor Costs rose at 6.95% y/y, having previously posted an increase of 6.04% in 2Q 2015 and a rise of 1.67% y/y in 3Q 2014. Taxes at Constant Factor Costs added EUR403 million to official GDP in 3Q 2015, a rise on the increase of EUR279 million in 2Q 2015 and a massive jump compared to the y/y uplift of EUR95 million in 3Q 2014. This clearly correlates with the data from the Exchequer and most likely is dominated by unexpected (and unexplained) growth in corporation tax receipts. 
  • Over nine months through September 2015, Taxes at Constant Factor Costs rose EUR1.129 billion (+7.05%) compared to the same period of 2014. This rise now accounts for 16.9% of the increase in GNP over the same period. 

GDP at Constant Market Prices:

  • GDP rose incredible 6.95% y/y in 3Q 2015, having previously posted growth of 6.84% y/y in 2Q 2015, both up on 3.75% growth in 3Q 2014. Year on year, 3Q 2015 rose EUR3.384 billion, which was up on 2Q 2015 growth of 3.234 billion, with both quarters posting massive uplift compared to 3Q 2014 growth of EUR1.757 billion.
  • In 3 quarters of 2015, GDP rose by EUR9.943 billion which corresponds to annual growth of 7.04% and amounts to 148% uplift compared to the rise in GNP.

GNP at Constant Market Prices:

  • -GNP rose 3.18% y/y in 3Q 2015, less than half the rate of increase in GDP. This comes on foot of the 5.5% y/y growth in 2Q 2015 and lower than 3Q 2014 growth of 3.68%. 
  • Over the 9 months through September 2015, Irish GNP grew cumulative EUR6.694 billion (+5.58%) compared to the same period of 2014. This is appreciable growth, but it is far short of the GDP expansion over the same period. 

Per chart above, both GDP and GNP continue on the upward trend, albeit at different rates of growth. This divergence is now translating into widening (once again) GDP/GNP gap. In 2Q 2015, the GDP/GNP gap stood at 18.9%. In 3Q 2015 the gap widened to 21.65% - the largest since 1Q 2012 and well above the average of 17.8% for the period from 1Q 2013 through 3Q 2015. This gap used to reflect most of the over-statement of actual economic activity due to the MNCs trading in the Irish economy, but it no longer does, as new accounting standards now push up (superficially) or investment (via R&D reclassification in recent years, and through the upcoming ‘Knowledge Development Box’) and as MNCs continue to alter their pattern of profit flows through Ireland.

The latter aspect is reflected in rising volatility of Net Factor Income Flows which rose to 17.8% as a share of GDP in 3Q 2015, the highest level since 1Q 2012.

Incidentally, Net Factor Income for Rest of the World stood at a whooping EUR9.264 billion in 3Q 2015 - the highest level on record. Over nine months through September, MNCs-driven outflows of payments from Ireland exceeded inflows of payments into Ireland by a massive EUR24.67 billion which is 15.2 percent higher than for the same period of 2014.

Here is a comparative to ponder: in the first three quarters of 2015, GNP rose EUR6.69 billion on the same period of 2014, while net outflows of factor payments out of Ireland rose EUR3.25 billion, almost 1/3 of the increase in GDP and 1/5 of the increase in GNP.

Still, it is worth noting that for all of the above caveats, based on 4 quarters rolling cumulative measure, Irish GDP is now 6.97% above pre-crisis peak and is 6.78% ahead of where it was a year ago. For GNP, current 4 quarters cumulative reading is 8% ahead of pre-crisis peak and 6.45 above last year’s reading.

Stay tuned for quarterly growth rates analysis coming up next.

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