Thursday, December 10, 2015

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

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

The second post covered year-on-year growth rates in GDP and GNP (

Now, consider quarterly growth rates analysis.

While things were bustlingly rosy for GDP and GNP based on year-on-year growth figures, the picture is much more mixed when it comes to quarterly growth rates.

Firstly, GDP at constant factor costs rose 1.43% q/q in 3Q 2015, down from 2.4% growth recorded in 2Q 2015 and on 2.54% growth recorded in 3Q 2014. In so far as this reflects sectoral activity, this slower 3Q 2015 growth is hard to interpret.

Taxes at constant factor costs actually fell 1.49% q/q in 3Q 2015, having risen just 0.37% q/q in 2Q 2015. 2014 3Q contraction was much sharper at 6.65%.

GDP at constant market prices rose 1.37% q/q in 3Q 2015, once again posting slower rates of growth than in 2Q 2015 (+1.89%) and in 3Q 2014 (+2.06%). The current rate of q/q growth in GDP was the slowest in 3 quarters, but remains significant (above 1.33% average for the period of 1Q 2013 - 3Q 2015.

GNP surprised to a downside, falling 0.81% q/q in 3Q 2015, having previously posted growth of 1.35% in 2Q 2015 and having expanded 2.71% in 3Q 2014. In fact, 3Q 2015 is the worst quarter-on-quarter growth result for GNP since 4Q 2013 and the second quarter of negative growth over the last 4 quarters (previous one was in 1Q 2015 at -0.24%).

Over the first three quarters of 2015, GNP growth averaged 0.1%, which compares poorly to 1.97% average for the first three quarters of 2014 and 3.21% average growth posted for the first 3 quarters of 2013, and ditto for 2012.

The key takeaways here are:

  1. Q/Q GDP growth remains robust, but is now the lowest in 3 consecutive quarters;
  2. Q/Q GNP growth has turned negative once again in 3Q 2015, posting the worst reading for any quarter since 4Q 2013.
  3. Meanwhile, net factor income outflows to the rest of the world are booming, hitting (on seasonally adjusted basis) the highest level since 4Q 2011 and the second highest level on record. 

In other words, MNCs extraction of profits from the economy is ramping out, which is helping the Exchequer and pushes up GDP, but also is leading to GNP growth lagging that of GDP.

Stay tuned for more analysis coming up.

No comments: