Press Statement Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2018.

Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard shows improvement in economic imbalances in 2018
  • Scoreboard for 2018 shows just four breaches of EU thresholds
  • Government debt, house prices, private sector debt and Ireland’s international investment position remain among the breaches in 2018
  • The number of breaches is down one from 2017 (five breaches), and down from a high of 10 breaches in both 2010 and 2011

Go to release: Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2018

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (13 November 2019) published Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard 2018, an EU wide measure of economic imbalances in member states’ economies. The Scoreboard measures a range of indicators designed to screen for potential macroeconomic imbalances in the Irish economy.

Commenting on the publication, Senior Statistician Christopher Sibley said: “The 2018 Macroeconomic Scoreboard shows that out of the 14 indicators screening for economic imbalances, Ireland is breaching four of the EU thresholds. This is down from the high of 10 breaches in 2010 and 2011 and we’re seeing continuing improvement in the number of breaches in 2018.”

The breaches for 2018 include government debt, at 63.6% of GDP, which remained slightly above the EU threshold of 60%. The deflated house prices indicator, measuring inflation in the housing market, recorded an 8.3% annual change, above the 6% EU threshold. Private sector debt, at 223% of GDP, continued to breach the EU threshold of 133%. However, in 2017 the Scoreboard showed that for the first time since the lead up to the economic crisis, the combined total of Irish owned debt (households and Irish non-financial corporations) was below the EU threshold. This trend continued in 2018 with the combined total of Irish owned debt making up less than half of the total private sector debt.

The Scoreboard publication also includes indicators designed to measure economic competitiveness, for example the current account balance, export market share and labour costs, and includes indicators designed to screen for internal imbalances such as unemployment.  

The CSO’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard publication draws on sources from across the CSO and provides additional analysis on the range of indicators, including analysis using the CSO’s modified GNI (GNI*) and modified current account (CA*) measures.

The Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) is an annual process which the European Commission undertakes, using a scoreboard of 14 headline indicators and 28 auxiliary indicators. This screens for any macroeconomic imbalances that may occur in member states. Each of the 14 headline indicators have a threshold, set by the European Commission, beyond which economic imbalances are determined to have occurred. The financial crisis in 2008 highlighted the importance of the early detection and correction of macroeconomic imbalances across EU countries and the euro area. This led the European Commission to develop the MIP which came into force in December 2011 as part of the ‘sixpack’ of legislative acts, which strengthens the monitoring of macroeconomic policies in the EU and the euro area.

The CSO produces Ireland’s Macroeconomic Scoreboard publication in line with the European Commission’s report, to provide further insight and analysis on the range of indicators for Ireland.

For further information contact:

Christina Feeney (+353) 1 498 4233 or Christopher Sibley (+353) 1 498 4305

or email bop@cso.ie