Detailed Review of Ireland’s Economy
Ireland’s economy is heavily dependent on the financial and real estate sectors, a situation that made the economic crisis of 2008 a real struggle. After a major recession of 7.6% in 2009 the country managed to return to low growth in 2011 thanks to some limited growth in exports. The country’s economy is expected to grow by 4.6% in 2014.
As in all developed countries the tertiary sector is the largest sector in Ireland and provides the majority of national GDP. As mentioned finance is a key area in services’ activity and Dublin is today an international financial centre. The country also has a powerful agricultural sector strengthened by the Government’s desire for modernization.
This kind of ambition on the part of the state has also helped Ireland to develop an efficient and technologically well-equipped industrial sector with textiles, chemicals and electronics as key sectors. Recently, the country has also seen growth in tourism which has had a positive impact on the economy.
The country is very focused on international trade, which also makes it dependent on foreign demand. Its key trading partners are the EU and the United States and its trade balance is in surplus following a decline in imports during the crisis. Chemicals and animal products as well as computers and livestock, are Ireland’s largest exports.
Ireland’s Economic Strengths
- Low tax rate.
- The secondary and tertiary sectors are dynamic and competitive.
- Young, qualified and available workforce.
- Well developed and maintained infrastructure.
Ireland’s Economic Weaknesses
- Increasingly expensive labour costs.
- Small employee market (4.5 million).