Quarterly Financial Accounts

The Quarterly Financial Accounts (QFA) present a complete and consistent set of quarterly financial data for all sectors of the Irish economy. They provide comprehensive information on the financial and investment activities of households, non-financial corporations, financial corporations, government and the rest of the world. The whom-to-whom tables provide information on the interactions between these sectors.

Key Points – Q1 2023

Publication date: 03 August 2023

  • Net wealth of Irish households increased by €4.6bn in the quarter, to reach a new all-time high of €1,073bn.
  • This increase was mainly driven by financial investment and positive revaluations for the existing stock of financial instruments. Negative housing revaluations, for the first time since 2020 Q2, partially offset the gains.
  • The private debt-to-GDP ratio decreased by 9 percentage points, now standing at 164 per cent. This was driven by a reduction in long-term loan debt of non-financial corporations (NFCs).
  • Government debt was relatively stable in Q1 2023, standing at €219bn. 

Chart 1: Household Net Wealth

Household Net Wealth 

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Household net wealth rose by €4.6bn, reaching €1,073bn in Q1 2023. However, it should be noted that this increase in aggregate household wealth does not capture distribution effects across the sector.

This increase was primarily driven by financial investments, which increased by €4.9bn as well as revaluations for financial assets (€4.2bn). 

Investment in new housing totalled €2.4bn across the quarter, above the post-pandemic average. However, revaluations of existing properties were negative for the first time since Q2 2020, with the value of existing housing stock declining by €6.8bn. Overall, total housing wealth declined by €4.4bn to €708bn. In Q1 2023, housing assets represented 66 per cent of total household net worth (and 58 per cent of total assets), marginally decreasing during the quarter. 

Households’ financial wealth increased by €9.1bn, due to the combined effect of new investment in financial assets, positive revaluations and a marginal decrease in financial liabilities. As a result, total financial net wealth reached €365bn in Q1 2023.


Chart 2: Breakdown of Household Net Wealth, Q-on-Q Changes

Breakdown of Household Quarterly Wealth Changes

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New financial investment by households totalled €4.9bn in the quarter. This was primarily driven by an increase in currency and deposit assets (€2.7bn) as well as insurance and pension entitlements (€1.9bn). Due to marginal levels of new borrowing in the period (€0.5bn), net financial investment of households equalled €4.4bn in Q1 2023.

Financial asset revaluations were positive in Q1 2023 (€4.2bn), having been negative in each quarter of 2022. Positive changes in equity and insurance assets offset adverse revaluations in other accounts receivable/payable.


Chart 3: Household Savings

Household Savings

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Savings in Q1 2023 totalled €4.2bn, and were driven by positive net acquisitions of financial instruments (mainly currency and deposit holdings, as well as insurance and pension entitlements) in addition to investment in new housing assets.

Households’ disposable income grew by 2 per cent, according to CSO data . This combined with a continued decline in savings, which fell for the eighth quarter in a row based on revised CSO data, resulted in a savings rate of just under 12%, slightly above the pre-pandemic norm.


Chart 4: Private Sector Debt-to-GDP

Private Sector Debt to GDP

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Private sector debt decreased by €32bn over the quarter, to stand at €842bn. This reduction was driven by a decline in the stock of non-financial corporations’ debt, particularly cross border long-term loans, which declined by €17bn, while households’ debt level remained unchanged from the previous quarter. The continued drop in NFC debt caused the private sector debt-to-GDP ratio to fall by 9 percentage points over the quarter, to stand at 164 per cent. The trend of declining private sector debt relative to GDP stretches back to Q2 2020. 

Private sector debt in Ireland is significantly influenced by the presence of large multinational enterprises (MNEs) and restructuring by these entities has resulted in large movements in Irish private sector debt, particularly from 2014 onwards. Private sector indebtedness forms part of the European Commission’s scoreboard of macroeconomic imbalances. The Commission sets an indicative threshold of 160 per cent of GDP for private sector debt sustainability, which, however, does not take account of Ireland’s large MNEs sector.


Chart 5: Government Debt

Government Debt

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In Q1 2023, Irish government debt was unchanged and stood at €219bn. Long-term securities declined by €1.7bn but this was offset by increases of €1.8bn in short term securities.

Chart 5 also displays that the Quarterly Government Debt (QGD) indicator, which is based on the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) measure of debt, and decreased by €1.2bn in the period, to reach €224bn.

In terms of net wealth, government financial assets increased by €3.6bn, driven by an increase in deposits and equity assets. Total government liabilities declined by €2.3bn in Q1 2023, resulting in an increase of government net financial wealth to -€135bn.

Chart 6: Net Lending/Borrowing

Net Lending/Borrowing

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The domestic economy remained a net lender in Q1 2023, with net acquisitions of assets surpassing liabilities by €11.2bn. All major sectors of the economy remained net lenders, with the exception of NFCs, which were net borrowers in Q1 2023 (-€0.2bn). Of the four major sectors, households had the highest net lending (€5.0bn) in the quarter.

The net lending position of financial corporations in Q1 2023 was €3.6bn. The other financial institution's subsector (€13.8bn) was the largest net lender and the investment funds subsector (-€11.7bn) the largest net borrower. The Central Bank and MFIs (€1.6bn) and insurance corporations and pension funds (-0.1bn) subsectors movements were both of smaller magnitudes.





Quarterly Financial Accounts for Ireland Q1 2023 | pdf 875 KB Chart Pack | xls 5898 KB Whom-to-whom Tables Q1 2012 to present - ESA 2010 | xls 2777 KB Financial Accounts for Ireland Q1 2002 to Present - ESA 2010 | xls 11469 KB