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Friday 22 August 2014

Exclusively in the Irish Independent print edition

Published 03/10/2012 | 06:07

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6 May 2012; Jim Gavin, Dublin manager. Cadbury's GAA Football All-Ireland Under 21 Championship Final, Dublin v Roscommon, OConnor Park, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
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'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," Franklin Roosevelt told the American people when he became president in the middle of the Great Depression.

In the midst of our own economic crisis, the words still hold true which makes it unforgivable that ministers have been busy putting the frighteners on voters.

Consumer confidence had been rising steadily over the last few months despite dreadful weather and a disappointing performance by our footballers in Poland.

Figures from shops and auctioneers show consumers have been spending a little more. Retail sales are up along with house prices.

Yesterday evening, we got further confirmation that the economy is "bumping along the bottom", as the Economic and Social Research Institute said recently. With three-quarters of the year gone, the Exchequer Returns remain on target as most ministers have kept spending under control.

VAT returns are ahead of target along with company taxes, customs and excise and income tax.

The economy has a pulse once again and we will comfortably beat the troika targets barring a catastrophe.

All this makes a calamitous decline in consumer confidence last month, revealed in a separate report yesterday, more than a little annoying. It is annoying because the slump in the national mood was not inevitable.'

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