Foreign direct investment into the Republic fell sharply into negative territory at the end of last year, with the latest OECD data showing a $21 billion (€17 billion) disinvestment in the final three months of 2017.
The negative flow was not, however, sufficient to overshadow positive inflows for the rest of the year, with total inward FDI for 2017 amounting to $29 billion, up 131 per cent from $12.6 billion a year earlier.
The shift in the final quarter came against a backdrop of huge volatility in Irish FDI flows, which have been heavily influenced in recent years by movement in intellectual property assets and the activities of aircraft leasing companies.
The OECD said global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell 18 per cent in 2017 to $1.41 trillion. FDI movements in the fourth quarter reached their lowest since 2013, including flows into the European Union which hit negative levels driven in part by the large Irish disinvestment, with a similar trend recorded in Luxembourg.
“The United States remained the largest source of FDI worldwide by a long stretch, followed by Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada,” the OECD said in a statement.
FDI flows into the United States dropped to $287 billion after reaching more than $450 billion in 2015 and 2016. US FDI outflows rose 21 per cent to $363 billion.
China, after being a net outward investor for the first time in 2016, returned to being a net inward investor last year. – Reuters