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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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quarterly reports

Irish economy falls by 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2023

Finance Minister Michael McGrath said the fall in GDP “the ongoing fall-off in demand for Covid-related pharmaceutical products”.

THE IRISH GROSS domestic product, the metric used to measure the economy, fell by 1.9% in the third quarter of 2023, according to new figures from the CSO

The fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reflects, according to Finance Minister Michael McGrath, “the ongoing fall-off in demand for Covid-related pharmaceutical products”. 

“We are also seeing a marked softening in global economic conditions, with the OECD this week projecting weak growth for next year – if realised, this would be the lowest rate of global growth since the global financial crisis with the exception of the first year of the pandemic,” McGrath said. 

The CSO found the national net exports fell by 3.1% in the third quarter of this year, leading to a loss of €1.3 billion for the State. 

Additionally, the multinational-dominated sector contracted by 3.8% in the third quarter, according to the CSO data published today.

However the Modified Domestic Demand (MDD), a metric more commonly used in Ireland as it excludes the economic activities of multinationals, was broadly unchanged in the quarter. 

“In terms of the domestic economy, Modified Domestic Demand – my preferred metric – was unchanged in the third quarter, with growth in consumer spending and a fall in investment spending largely off-setting each other,” McGrath said. 

The CSO found that personal spending on goods and services, a key measure of domestic economic activity, increased by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. 

“I am cognisant that many households continue to be impacted by price pressures and Government continues to play a key role in protecting those most acutely impacted,” the Finance Minister said. 

On Monday, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys announced the details of three cost-of-living supports that would be paid to thousands of households this week. 

The payments, totalling €133 million, were agreed in Budget 2024. 

Yesterday, a €400 lump sum payment was be paid to around 120,000 carers who receive the Carer’s Support Grant.

From Wednesday to today, a €200 lump sum payment was paid to around 240,000 people who are in receipt of the Living Alone Allowance.

Throughout the week, a lump sum of €100 per child was be paid to families in respect of 370,000 qualified children. This is paid to people who receive an Increase for a Qualified Child on their primary social welfare payment.

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