Business Irish

Wednesday 7 December 2016

CSO head says new set of figures necessary in light of 'leprechaun economics' GDP numbers

Niall O'Connor in Glenties

Published 19/07/2016 | 14:30

GDP is also the international benchmark for the health of the economy. Everything from how much we owe, to how much we can invest, is measured against it. Stock photo: Irochka - Fotolia
GDP is also the international benchmark for the health of the economy. Everything from how much we owe, to how much we can invest, is measured against it. Stock photo: Irochka - Fotolia

THE head of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has spoken about the recent controversy surrounding the publication of data that claimed the economy grew by an astonishing 26 per cent last year.

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The figures were likened to "Leprechaun Economics" and led to claims Ireland was left open to ridicule internationally.

Pádraig Dalton, the CSO's Director General, said the figures were based on "hard data" and is "attributable to the globalisation activities of a small number of companies".

Read more: Could leprechaun economists yet precipitate an Irexit? Or predict crocks of gold for all?

But he said the reporting of GDP and GNP figures do not on their own provide a "sufficient understanding" of the domestic economy and that a "broader suite of indicators" needs to be rolled out.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Mr Dalton  said this is being examined by a group of experts who will report back later this year.

"The revisions published were based on hard data and attributable to the globalisation activities of a very small number of companies," Mr Dalton said.

Read more: CSO made look silly for sticking to the rules

"However, the CSO is bound by strict confidentiality rules and that created a significant communications  challenge.  This  meant  that  we  were  limited  in  our  ability  to  fully  explain  the  revisions  and  we  were  obliged to suppress certain detail which, understandably, was an issue for many users," he added.

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