12/12/15: Irish National Accounts 3Q: Post 6: Measuring Recovery

In previous posts, I have covered:

  1. Irish National Accounts 3Q: Sectoral Growth results 
  2. Year-on-year growth rates in GDP and GNP in 3Q 2015 
  3. Quarterly growth rates in GDP and GNP 
  4. Domestic Demand and
  5. External trade side of the National Accounts 

Now, as usual, let’s take a look at the evolution of 3 per-capita metrics and trace out the dynamics of the crisis.

In 3Q 2015, Personal Expenditure per capita for the last four quarters totalled EUR 19,343, which represents an increase of 2.78% on four quarters total through 3Q 2014. Relative to peak 4 quarters total (attained in 4Q 2007), current levels of Personal Expenditure on Goods & Services on a per capita is 7.14% below the peak levels. In other words, 7 and 3/4 of the years down, Personal Expenditure on a per capita basis is yet to recover (in real terms) pre-crisis peak.

Per capita Final Domestic Demand (combining Personal Expenditure, Government Expenditure and Fixed Capital Formation) based on the total for four quarters through 3Q 2015 stood at EUR 34,616, which represents an increase of 7.75% y/y. This level of per capita Demand is 11.19% lower than pre-crisis peak attained in 4Q 2007. As with Personal Expenditure per capita, Final Demand per capita is yet to complete crisis period recovery, 7 and 3/4 of the years down.

On the other hand, GDP per capita stood at EUR 42,870 on a cumulative 4 quarters basis, which is 6.2% above the same period for 2014 and is 0.98% above the pre-crisis peak (4Q 2007). Hence, GDP per capita has now fully recovered from the pre-crisis peak and it ‘only’ took it 7.5 years to do so.

GNP per capita has recovered from the crisis back in 2Q 2015, so at of Q3 2015, 4-quarters aggregate GNP per capita stood at EUR 36,508 which is 5.85% ahead of the same period through Q3 2014 and is 2.39% above pre-crisis peak. In other words, it took 7 and 1/4 years for GNP per capita to regain its pre-crisis peak.

It is also worth looking at the potential levels of output per capita ex-crisis.

To do so, let’s take average growth rates for 4 quarters moving aggregate GDP. GNP and Domestic Demand, for the period 1Q 2002 through 4Q 2007. Note 1: this period represents slower rates of growth than years prior to 1Q 2002. Note 2: I further removed all growth rates observations within the period that were above 5 percentage points for GDP and GNP and above 4% for Final Demand, thus significantly reducing impact of a number of very high growth observations on resulting trend.

Here is the chart, also showing by how much (% terms) would GDP, GNP and Domestic Demand per capita have been were pre-crisis trends (moderated by my estimation) to persist from 4Q 2007:

I’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions as to the recovery attained.