Saturday 10 December 2016

Don't expect any thanks from the voters, Enda

The economy is now racing ahead, but the electorate is right not to feel grateful to the Government for this

Published 02/08/2015 | 02:30

'There seems to be no willingness to credit the improvement in the economy to the government parties'
'There seems to be no willingness to credit the improvement in the economy to the government parties'

This morning's Sunday Independent poll asked a number of interesting questions about the public's personal experience of economic recovery and expectations for the year ahead, as well as preferences for tax cuts, should there be any in October's Budget. The context is important. The Irish economy has been through the sharpest contraction since World War II; the quickest rise in unemployment it has ever gone through; a monster banking bust, amongst the largest ever endured anywhere; and the indignity of the country forced into a financial rescue from official lenders for the first time since independence.

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Real output (GDP) peaked in 2007, crashed to just 92pc of that year's level in the two years to 2009 and finally recovered to barely above the 2007 figure only last year. In seven years, real output in the economy has just about regained the previous peak. This is by far the worst downturn in Ireland's recent economic history.

Last year, real output grew by about 5pc and the most recent forecasts are for a 4pc expansion in both 2015 and 2016. The recovery in our major trading partners, the US and Britain, has helped, along with the weakness of the euro against the dollar and sterling.

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