Euromoney Country Risk

EUROMONEY COUNTRY RISK

Read the latest analysis on sovereign, geo-political and structural risk

 
Get up to date country risk ratings in 186 countries

Member login



Lost your password?

Euromoney Country Risk

Euromoney Country Risk
List of countries.

Ireland Ireland

Overview Change score Analyses Experts
 
Sponsored section
Ireland

Table of Content


EconomicPoliticalStructural

Ireland – Quick View
ECR score62.33 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank43 (Mar 2011)
Economic
GDP (2009)USD 220,818.79 million
GNI per capita PPPUSD 33,510
FDI inflow (2009)USD 23,492.32 million
Inflation (2010)-1.1%
Central bank assets (2010)USD 271,406.20 million
Unemployment rate (2010)13.4%
Government deficit (2009)USD 30,476.17 million
Tax revenue (2009)USD 13.27 billion (approx.)
Political
Government typeSovereign and Democratic
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score7th
Freedom of information score10th
Corruption perception index14th
Structural
Birth rate16.7 per 000
Population balanceUnder 14 - 21.45%
Population balanceOver 60 - 16.17%
Life expectancy yearsMale - 76.8 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale - 81.6 years
Mortality rate6.5 per 000
Literacy rateNA
Internet access (2010)67.3%

[Top] Economic Overview

Ireland’s economy has been in deficit over the past nine years. The highest ever deficit was recorded in 2008, as a result of the recession, which entered in 2007, and due to increasing competition in the EU market, resulting in a fall in exports, especially from industrial sector.

 

(Source: articlebase.com, rte.ie)

 

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

 

GDP of Ireland was EUR 41,269 million in Q3 of 2010, decreasing 0.55% from Q3 of 2009. The agricultural and industrial sectors reported a growth while, transport, communications, public administration, defence and other sectors showed a slight decline.  

                                       Ireland GDP at constant market prices

(Source: CSO)

 

Gross National Product (GNP)

 

In Q3 of 2010, GNP of the country was EUR 33,507 million, declining1.6% from Q3 of 2009.

 

                                     Ireland GNP at constant market prices

(Source: CSO)

 

Income tax rate

 

As compared to 2010, income slabs for 2011 have been lowered by EUR 3,600 for all categories of personal taxes. 

 

Status

Income slabs (EUR)

Tax (%)

Single / Widowed (without dependent children)

up to 32,800

20

above 32,800

41

Single / Widowed (qualifying for One Parent Family Tax Credit)

up to 32,800

20

above 32,800

41

Married Couple (one spouse with income)

up to 41,800

20

above 41,800

41

Married Couple (both spouses with income)

up to 65,600

20

above 65,600

41

 

(Source: Irish Cash and Customs)

 

Inflation rate

 

In 2010, the estimated annual average inflation rate was -1.1%*. Rates for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels rose 9.2% during the year.  However, the education sector showed a major fall of 3.0%. Annual inflation rate was reported at -1.1% for overall goods and 2.0% for overall services.

 

                                             Ireland Inflation rate

(Source: CSO)

 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

 

The country had a considerable increase in its FDI during 2009, when total investment inflow reached EU 169,328 due to an increase in investment from Netherlands, UK, France, Italy and Belgium. Similarly, investments were flowed outside too, mostly to the Netherlands. 

 

 

FDI

2007

2008

2009

million EUR

Outflows

-15,450

-12,936

-17,221

Inflows

18,052

-11,232

17,697

Position of total outflows (at year end)

101,936

121,381

189,710

Position of total inflows (at year end)

138,362

138,859

169,328

Net income flows

-26,482

-20,513

-26,007

 

(Source: Irish Statistical Portal)

 

Central bank assets

 

The assets of the Central bank of Ireland are displayed in the table below:

 

 

 

Balance Sheet – Assets of Central Bank of Ireland (million EUR)

 

2009

2010

Gold and Receivables

132

204

Lending to euro area credit institutions relating to monetary policy operations in euro

91,958

132,010

Main refinancing operations

7,525

63,655

Longer-term refinancing operations

84,433

56,025

Fine-tuning reverse operations

-

12,330

Other claims on euro area credit institutions in euro

636

514

Claims on euro area residents in foreign currency

132

142

Claims on non-euro area residents in euro

1,037

883

Claims on non-euro area residents in foreign currency

1,278

1,382

Securities of other euro area residents in euro

15,150

18,224

Other assets

13,474

51,094

TOTAL ASSETS

123,797

204,453

(Source: centralbank.ie)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

 

Ireland’s CPI was recorded at 101.7 points, rising 0.6% compared to the previous year. Consumer prices increased for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels, communications, and miscellaneous goods & services.  However,  there was a decrease in clothing & footwear, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and education.

 

 

Month-wise CPI during 2009 and 2010

Month

CPI

2009

January

109.9

February

109.5

March

109.0

April

107.8

May

107.4

June

106.4

July

105.0

August

104.0

September

102.6

October

102.1

November

101.3

December

100.8

2010

January

100.0

February

100.4

March

100.5

April

100.7

May

101.3

June

101.2

July

101.2

August

101.9

September

101.8

October

101.8

November

101.7

December

101.9

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour Force

 As of June 2010, Ireland had a total work force of 2,152,700 people. Of the total labour force, the total number of employed people stood at 1,859,500, hence the unemployment rate was reported at 13.64%. The country’s employment decreased by 4.08% compared to the previous year. Employment was highest in wholesale & retail trading and light weight automobile repair (269,100); followed by industrial (240,100); human health & social work (234,900); education (149,800); construction (125,300); accommodation & food service (119,800); public administration, defence & social security (107,800); finance, insurance & real estate (103,200); professional, scientific & technical (100,900); and others (408,100).

Labour force statistics (thousands)

Status

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

Employed

1,859.5

1,938.5

2,112.8

2,113.9

2,034.9

Unemployed

293.6

264.6

126.7

103.1

97.9

Total labour force

2,152.7

2,203.1

2,239.6

2,217.0

2,132.8

Not in labour force

1,359.7

1,320.8

1,275.3

1,245.6

1,243.3

 (Source: CSO)

Month-wise unemployment rates during 2006-2010

Month

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

In %

January

13.1

9.5

4.8

4.4

4.4

February

12.9

10.2

4.9

4.5

4.4

March

13.0

10.8

5.2

4.5

4.4

April

13.0

11.3

5.3

4.5

4.5

May

13.2

11.6

5.5

4.5

4.5

June

13.5

12.0

5.9

4.5

4.5

July

13.7

12.3

6.4

4.5

4.5

August

13.6

12.4

6.8

4.5

4.5

September

13.4

12.7

7.2

4.6

4.5

October

13.3

12.8

7.6

4.7

4.4

November

13.2

13.1

8.1

4.8

4.3

December

13.4

13.1

8.6

4.8

4.4

 (Source: CSO)

Minimum wage

 

Minimum wage rate for experienced adult worker is EUR 8.65 an hour and for every adult worker in first year of his/her job is EUR 6.92  an hour. Employees in training are eligible for minimum wage of EUR 4.49 per hour.

 

Minimum wage

Employee

Minimum hourly wage (EUR)

Experienced adult worker

8.65

Second year from date of first employment (aged over 18)

7.79

First year from date of first employment (aged over 18)

6.92

Aged under 18

6.06

 

(Source: Citizens Information Board)

 

Level of unionization

 

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) is the representative organisation for about 55 trade unions in Ireland. As of 2008, the 55 trade unions had 833,486 members, of which 231,451 were in Northern Ireland.

 

(Source: ictu.ie)

[Top] Political Stability

Ireland is sovereign and democratic, following a written constitution, which prescribes powers and duties of the government.

 

The President is the nominal head of state. The President's formal powers and functions are set down in the Constitution and are exercised on the advice of the Government.

 

The National Parliament, also known as Oireachtas, is the legislative body of the country, and consists of House of Representatives and a Senate. It has the authority to make laws regarding legislation. The House of Representatives, also known as Dáil Éireann, comprises of members who represent their particular region as decided by law. The Senate, also known as Seanad Éireann, is comprised of 60 members. Of these, 11 members are nominated and the remaining 49 are elected from by the National University of Ireland, University of Dublin and other panel of candidates.

 

The Executive powers lie with the government, comprised of at least 7 and with a maximum of 15 members. The Prime Minister, also known as Taoiseach, is the head of the government. 

 

The registered political parties in the country include:

  • Fianna Fáil
  • Fine Gael
  • The Labour Party
  • The Workers' Party
  • Communist Party of Ireland
  • Green Party/ Comhaontas Glas
  • Sinn Féin
  • Comhar Críostaí – The Christian Solidarity Party
  • Socialist Party
  • Christian Democrats (The National Party)
  • Socialist Workers Party
  • South Kerry Independent Alliance
  • People before Profit Alliance
  • Workers and Unemployed Action Group South-Tipperary
  • Letterkenny Residents Party
  • Seniors Solidarity Party Dublin
  • Éirigí

(Source: Constitution of Ireland, Houses of the Oireachtas)

 

Corruption perception

 

The country is ranked 14th in the World’s Corruption Perception Index 2010. Its index score is 8.0 (out of 10), reflecting low levels of corruption.

 

(Source: transperancy.org)

 

Freedom of information

 

Citizens have the right to access any stored information by government departments and other public bodies. The Government maintains the Freedom of Information Act to ensure that people have legal rights to view and use recorded information.

 

Ireland is ranked 10th on the Press Freedom Index 2010. It shows that government has minimum restrictions on the press. Although, it controls some media to avoid broadcasting related to violence and its support.

 

Major national newspapers include:

  • The Irish Times
  • Irish Independent
  • Irish Examiner

(Source: FOI, Rsf.org, BBC)

 

Regulatory environment in Ireland

 

Ireland is ranked 7th in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Its economic freedom score is 78.7 (out of 100), decreasing 2.6 points from the previous year, due to lower scores for government spending and financial freedom. In the European region, Ireland was ranked second behind Switzerland.

 

                                        Ireland Economic Freedom Indices

(Source: Heritage.org)

 Judicial system


Judicial system comprises of 9 major courts which were established under the Courts Act 1961:

 

  • Supreme Court: is the court of final appeal, it hears appeals from High Courts and Court of Criminal Appeal. It is comprised of one President, also known as the chief justice, and seven ordinary judges.
  • Court of Criminal Appeal:hears appeals from the Circuit Court, the Central Criminal Court and the Special Criminal Court. It is comprised of one judge of the Supreme Court and two judges from the High Court.
  • Courts Martial Appeal Court: hears appeals from persons convicted by court-martial.
  • High Court:hears appeals from Circuit Courts on civil, criminal and family law matters. It is comprised of one President and 36 ordinary judges.
  • Central Criminal Court:is a part of the High Court.
  • Special Criminal Court:runs on its own practices and procedures for resolving criminal cases. It is taken into consideration when other ordinary courts are found ineffective under special criminal cases. It is comprised of 3 judges.
  • Circuit Court:hears appeals on civil, criminal and family law matters, but with limited and local jurisdiction powers. It is also responsible for the selection of juries for Circuit Criminal Courts. It is comprises of one President and 37 ordinary judges. There is a total of eight circuit courts across the country.
  • District Court:hears appeals on civil, criminal and family law matters. It is comprised of one President and 36 ordinary judges.
  • Children Court:undertakes cases related to children under the age of 16 years. It is present in Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

 

(Source: Courts Service of Ireland)

[Top] Demographic Overview

Ireland had an estimated population of 4,470,700 as of April 2010, growing by 0.26% from the previous year. Dublin is the most populated city, followed by Cork, Limerick city, Galway and Waterford. Around 44% of population is between 15 and 44 years of age.


                                                                                 Ireland Population by gender

 

 

 

Classification by age-group (2010)

Age group

Population*

0-14

959,000

15-44

1,983,700

45-60

805,100

60 and above

722,700

 

*preliminary estimates

 The country has a balanced gender ratio, with almost equal numbers of males and females.

Year

Males

Females

2006

2,121,200

2,118,700

2007

2,171,100

2,167,900

2008

2,206,300

2,215,800

2009

2,217,700

2,241,600

2010

2,216,000

2,254,700

 

During 2009-2010, there were 65,300 emigrants and 30,800 immigrants. 

 (Source: CSO)

 Ethnic environment

The majority of the population are native Irish. 

 (Source: CSO)

 Birth and death rate

Ireland had a birth rate of 16.7 births per 1,000 people, and death rate of 6.5 deaths per 1,000 people in 2010. The birth rate is the highest among European Union countries. However, it has decreased decreased by 1.80% and 3.08% in birth and death rates, respectively.

Birth and Death statistics

Year

Total births

Birth rate*

Total deaths

Death rate*

2001

57,882

15.0

29,812

7.7

2002

60,521

15.5

29,348

7.5

2003

61,517

15.5

28,823

7.2

2004

61,684

15.2

28,151

7.0

2005

61,042

14.8

27,441

6.6

2006

64,237

15.2

27,479

6.5

2007

70,620

16.3

28,050

6.5

2008

75,065

17.0

28,192

6.4

2009

74,278

16.7

28,898

6.5

*rates per 1,000 people

 (Source: joe.ie, CSO,)

Infant mortality rate

 Ireland’s infant mortality was 3.2 in 2009, and has been declining since 2001.

 (Source: CSO)

Life expectancy rate

 In terms of life expectancy Ireland has a higher reported average rate then the other European Union countries. The life expectancy for males was 76.8 years and for females was 81.6 years in the period of 2005-07.

 Life expectancy rate (age in years)

Period

Males

Females

1980-82

70.1

75.6

1990-92

72.3

77.9

1995-97

73.0

78.5

2001-03

75.1

80.3

2005-07

76.8

81.6

(Source: DOHC)

Human Development Index (HDI)

Ireland is ranked 5th on the HDI 2010. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development which are measured by life expectancy, adult literacy & enrolment in education and per capita GNP at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

(Source: HDR UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Education

 

Ireland follows a three-level education system:

  • Primary (first level)
  • Secondary (second level)
  • Tertiary (third level)

The first level education consists of two-years of kindergarten education and 6 years of primary schooling. Second level education consists of 5-6 years of schooling at secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools & institutions. The third level education includes the  university sector, the technology sector, teacher training institutions and other aided institutions.

 

Key education statistics (2009-10)

Particulars

Number

Students:

1,013,470

First Level

505,998

Second Level

350,687

Third Level

156,785

Schools:

4,025

First Level

3,295

Second Level

730

Teachers

31,709

Pupil-Teacher ratio

25,804

 

(Source: Department of Education & Skills, Department of Education & Skills)

 

Healthcare

 

The country’s total public health expenditures amounted to EUR 14,849 mn in 2010, decreasing 4.3% compared to 2009. The expenditure on public health has more than doubled from 2001 to 2010.

 

                                         Ireland Total public expenditure on health

 

Leading causes of death in Ireland include diseases of the circulatory system, cancer and deaths from external causes.

 

The country’s public health services had 108,838 employees in 2010. As of August 2010, the country had 2,429 consultant hospital doctors employed by public healthcare services and 4,654 non-consultant hospital doctors. Non-consultant doctors include house officers, interns, registrars and senior registrars and specialist.

 

Employment in public healthcare services (2006 to August 2010)

Category

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Medical/Dental

7,712

8,005

8,109

8,083

8,050

Nursing

36,737

39,006

38,108

37,466

37,133

Health and Social Care Professionals

14,913

15,705

15,980

15,973

16,122

Management/Administration

17,262

18,043

17,967

17,611

17,289

General Support Staff

12,910

12,900

12,631

11,906

11,668

Other Patient and Client Care

16,739

17,846

18,230

18,714

18,577

Total

106,273

111,505

111,025

109,753

108,838

 

 (Source: DOHC)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Transport

 

Public transport in Ireland includes bus, rail and trams. Trams are operated within Dublin, connecting suburban areas with the city centre.

 

Roadways

 

The total length of roadways in Ireland is 5,443.73 km. Roadways in the country include:

  • Motorway
  • Dual Carriageway
  • Two Plus One (TPO)
  • Single

(Source: nra.ie)

 

A total count of road vehicles at the end of 2009 stood at 2,467,660. 

 

(Source: Department of Transport)

 

Ports

 

As of 2009, there were 19 major ports in Ireland. A total of 13,223 vessels arrived at Irish ports in 2009. 

 

Airports

 

The country has four major international airports- Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Shannon. Out of these 3 airports, Shannon has longest runway length of 3,170 meters.

  

(Source: Department of Transport, Aircraft Charter World)

 

Telecommunications

 

There were more than 5 million mobile phone subscribers in the nation at the end of 2010, with a penetration rate of 116%. Three mobile virtual network entities and five mobile phone companies operate in the country.

 

The country had about1.6 million broadband subscribers in 2010. Mobile and cable broadband grew at a rate of 35% and 36.5%, respectively.

 

Key subscription statistics (as of Q3 2010)

Service

Subscribers

Mobile (excluding mobile broadband)

4,621,446

Internet:

 

Narrowband

61,564

DSL broadband

732,331

Mobile broadband

540,546

Cable broadband

187,813

Other

87,935

 

(Source: comreg.ie,comreg.ie)

 

Ports in Ireland (2009)

Port

No. of vessels

Gross tonnage (thousands)

Dublin

7,247

140,105

Rosslare

1,990

46,469

Cork

1,322

15,302

Dun Laoghaire

317

6,225

Shannon Foynes Port

589

5,560

Waterford

573

3,224

Bantry Bay

32

803

Killybegs

126

685

Galway

208

669