Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland joined the euro on January 1, 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% from 1995 to 2007, but economic activity dropped sharply in 2008-09 as GDP fell by 3% in 2008 and nearly 8% in 2009.
Ireland entered into a recession for the first time in more than a decade with the onset of the world financial crisis and the subsequent severe slowdown in the property and construction markets.
Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed