Sunday 20 August 2017

Irish economy to ‘take off like rocket’ if world situation improves - Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke

Independent.ie reporters

THE IRISH economy will "take off like a rocket" if the world situation improves according to Finance Minister Michael .

Mr Noonan was speaking at the opening of the Euronext/NYSE stock exchange in Paris.



In an upbeat assessment of the Irish economy, he added that austerity has led to greater competitiveness here making Ireland a better place to do business.



He said Ireland would have a real growth rate of 2pc in 2013, adding that “if the world economy takes off you can add another two point something on it."



Distinguishing "real" growth and "nominal" growth, he said: "The real growth, especially in SMEs, is what drives the economy and what creates jobs, but the two go together."



"Inflation has gone up a little bit, so it looks as if inflation is at 2pc. I always look at how you put budgets together, so you start with your inflation rate and then you put on growth," he explained.



"Nominal growth is the driver of tax receipts and my primary job is to get the fiscal balance in place, so I'm working for nominal growth," Mr Noonan said.



Mr Noonan said that Ireland's competitiveness level had increased by 16pc due to the effect of austerity policies, despite the pain they bring.



He added Irish exports were "surging to record levels on the back of a significant bound in our national competitiveness."



"Ireland is now Europe's best project for a programme country to return to the bond market, which is what we intend to do in 2012/2013."



According to the latest EU/IMF/ECB troika forecast, the Irish economy will grow by 0.5pc of GDP this year.

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