Ireland Economic Forecast

Ireland Economic Outlook

March 26, 2019

The Irish economy stumbled in Q4 2018, decelerating from the previous quarter on a slowdown in domestic demand. Fixed investment growth fell sharply in the quarter, reflecting a contraction in construction-related investment for the first time in more than two years. This, along with a softer upturn in private consumption, underpinned the notable weakening in growth. Brexit-related uncertainty was again the main culprit weighing on household spending and business investment decisions. Turning to 2019, the picture remains largely tilted to the downside: Retail sales lost traction in January and consumer confidence tumbled to an over four-year low in February. Moreover, manufacturing and service PMIs for January–February were relatively low compared to last year’s readings. On a positive note, the labor market continued to tighten in February, although rising pressures on wages could be a prescient sign of mild overheating.

Ireland Economic Growth

Growth is set to decelerate this year on a weakening in the external sector amid Brexit uncertainty and cooling global growth. While domestic demand should remain robust, private consumption and fixed investment will likely lose pace, as the uncertainties weigh on consumer confidence and business investment. Meanwhile, a disorderly Brexit remains the main risk to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to grow 3.9% in 2019, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.2% in 2020.

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Ireland Facts

Bond Yield0.210.27 %Apr 12
Exchange Rate1.130.65 %Apr 12
Stock Market6,336-0.39 %Apr 12

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