Monday 26 September 2016

No more talk of leprechauns - but hardly a pot of gold around either

Published 15/09/2016 | 02:30

Those hoping for the return of "leprechaun economics" headlines were left disappointed yesterday - the economy grew by a more sane-sounding 0.6pc in the second quarter.

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But that positive-sounding figure is largely down to multinationals moving assets here - not really a satisfactory measure of how the economy is faring.

Nor it seems is the CSO figure on personal consumption. The Government beancounters said it was down 0.5pc in the quarter but yesterday a number of commentators queried whether the figure was accurate given recent trends in employment.

"The weakness in consumer spending is particularly hard to understand and may indeed be revised away in the future," Goodbody chief economist Dermot O'Leary said, for example. The net result is that it's all a bit of a muddle. CSO assistant director general Jennifer Banim urged observers to look beyond headline figures and bring together various strands of CSO data but that becomes difficult when questions are being raised over whether their data is accurate.

So we wait for the report of the group of experts trying to find new ways of illuminating us about the true state of the Irish economy.

Let's hope they manage it, because we need to know what's happening.

Indo Business

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