Tuesday 28 February 2017

Sterling slide to hit hard-won jobs

■ Pound to euro tipped to hit parity for the first time ■ Unemployment rate drops below 8pc – lowest since 2008 ■ IMF downgrade of our growth linked to British departure

Kevin Doyle and Colm Kelpie

Sterling took another knock yesterday after Theresa May's announcement that the Government will trigger Article 50 by March 2017. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Sterling took another knock yesterday after Theresa May's announcement that the Government will trigger Article 50 by March 2017. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The slide in sterling now threatens thousands of jobs in Ireland, with experts warning the pound will reach parity with the euro as soon as next year.

The sharp plunge in the pound is directly linked to the Brexit vote. €1 will now buy you 88p, which puts pressure on Irish exporters and the tourist industry.

Currency analysts expect sterling to weaken further against the euro to the 90 pence mark by the end of the year - a situation which business body Ibec has already warned will cost thousands of jobs across the Irish economy.

And one global bank is already predicting parity of Stg£1 to €1 by next year - which would mark a massive watershed moment in the history of the currencies.

A weaker pound poses cost and competitiveness issues for Irish firms selling into the UK market, as it becomes more expensive for British consumers to buy their products.

The warnings about the impact on Irish jobs come just as the unemployment rate fell to 7.9pc last month - the lowest rate since 2008

Separately, the IMF has downgraded Irish growth fractionally, with the Brexit vote partly to blame.

Irish Independent

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