Irish economy to experience 11pc growth as exports surge

ESRI has predicted that Irish GDP is to increase 11pc in 2021 driven by significant export growth.

The Irish economy is to experience double-digit growth this year due to the strong performance of the Irish export sector, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

ESRI reported that exports grew by 17pc in the first quarter of 2021 year-on-year and, while trade disruptions due to Brexit are likely to impact specific sectors, overall exports are still expected to grow 13.3 per cent for the year as a whole.

“If public health measures continue to be eased, the Irish economy will grow very strongly this year”

In addition, the latest annual results from Enterprise Ireland showed that Irish exports steadied at €25.48bn in 2020 despite Covid-19 and Brexit challenges.

Domestic boost

According to ESRI, the economy will be boosted by the easing of public restrictions and vaccine rollouts. As a result domestic demand is expected to rebound strongly.

ESRI said it expects consumption to grow by 7.5pc in the present year. Like consumption, investment is expected to grow significantly throughout the latter half of 2021 as economic activity resumes, growing by 5.8pc overall.

The institute said it expects unemployment to fall to 9pc by the end of 2021 as economic activity resumes and to average 7.1pc in 2022.

“The Irish economy is set to experience substantial growth rates in both 2021 and 2022 as it emerges from the pandemic,” said ESRI author Kieran McQuinn. “However, Covid-19 has had a significant impact in terms of the loss of output.”

Also commenting on the report, author Conor O’Toole of the ESRI added: “If public health measures continue to be eased, the Irish economy will grow very strongly this year.

“While the export performance may tip the economy into double digit growth, domestic demand is also expected to rebound strongly with household spending and investment recovering.”

By John Kennedy (

Published: 24 June 2021