Thursday 8 December 2016

CSO made look silly for sticking to the rules

Krugman missed the target with his remark, the leprechauns are in Luxembourg, not here, writes Colm McCarthy

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

CRACK: Krugman tweeted about ‘leprechaun economics’. (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
CRACK: Krugman tweeted about ‘leprechaun economics’. (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The Irish economy, on all credible indicators, grew by about 5pc last year. The GDP growth rate could even have been a little higher. But it could not have been 26.3pc, the amazing figure computed by the Central Statistics Office.

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The CSO explained that it followed faithfully the rules laid down by Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Union and it appears that the CSO has indeed calculated the figures by the book. National statistical offices do not make these numbers up, it follows harmonised procedures laid down by international agencies. In Ireland's case the rules are contained in a manual called ESA 2010, binding on EU members and authored by Eurostat in Luxembourg.

Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, tweeted an instant crack on Tuesday about 'leprechaun economics', providing the world's journalists with the hook for their coverage of these extraordinary figures. The impression created is that the Irish state cannot organise a statistics office to count economic activity properly. Krugman missed the target with his instant smart remark. The leprechauns are in Luxembourg, not in Ireland.

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