Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Top 10 and the National Accounts

The release this week by the CSO of the first estimates of GDP and GNP for 2010 generated some commentator interest.  We looked at some reasons behind the rising GNP figures and why nominal GDP fell by 6.4% on the quarter.  One thing that has to always be remember when looking at the Irish National Accounts is the impact of a small number of large companies.

According to the CSO, the 10 largest exporting MNCs accounted for 34% of the total value of Irish exports in 2009.  These same companies account for 33% of imports.  In 2009, exports were €144.8 billion and imports were €120.4 billion.  The top 10 accounted for €49.2 billion of exports and €39.7 billion of imports.   Not surprisingly this is more that one-third of net exports and but also was nearly 6% of total GDP.

The sum of the imports and exports of these 10 companies was equivalent to 55.6% of GDP.  It is clear that any changes in the activities of these individual companies will have significant effects on the overall figures.


  1. Hi Seamus,

    Any idea who these 10 MNC's are?


  2. Hi Dave,

    I think we could make a pretty good guess as to who these companies are but the CSO are not going to confirm it. Their data must be confidential. We can take it that chemical and pharmaceutical companies from the goods side and computer services from the services side would make up the bulk of the top 10.

    Chemicals are nearly 60% of our goods exports and computer services are nearly 40% of our service exports. The big companies here will dominate the list.