The island has vast lands of vegetation, although agriculture does not contribute much to the exports. Although it remained a major source of employment as well as GDP, agriculture has been overtaken by the industry and service sectors. The latest trend seems to be towards a knowledge-based economy that focuses on services, trade and the high tech industry.
According to the OECD-28, Ireland’s economy is ranked as one of the wealthiest. The main trigger for such a shift is the low corporate tax, which is even lower than the EU average.
The country has managed to rise beyond its agricultural dependencies and become a modern trade dependant economy. In fact, the shift has been so positive that the country could grow at a consistent rate of 6% during 1995-2007. However, the recession has had a negative effect on the growth rate, leading to a constriction in the economy. This is how the economy performed during 2007-2009: (Real growth rate)
As the rate declined, the GDP also declined significantly. The following figures show how the GDP fared during 2007-2009:
2009: $177 billion
2008: $191.3 billion
2007: $197.2 billion
The figure below shows how the Ireland economy fared in terms of per capita GDP: