Sunday 24 September 2017

Global political upheaval has yet to affect economy - but it's early days

Marine Le Pen, the National Front’s candidate in the upcoming French presidential election, speaks at a rally. The poll ratings of the anti-establishment, far-right politician have caused a minor panic in the French government bond market but have not yet spooked the wider economy. Photo: Robert Pratta/Reuters
Marine Le Pen, the National Front’s candidate in the upcoming French presidential election, speaks at a rally. The poll ratings of the anti-establishment, far-right politician have caused a minor panic in the French government bond market but have not yet spooked the wider economy. Photo: Robert Pratta/Reuters
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

Political instability and upheaval have been to the fore over the past year: on this island, south and north, on our neighbouring island, on the continent, and across the Atlantic. Yet despite all the uncertainty, which might have caused consumers and businesses - from eastern Europe to America's west coast - to pull in their horns, economic momentum in the Western world has gathered pace of late.

Here at home, Tuesday's quarterly employment report from the State's statisticians showed yet another surge in job creation in the final months of last year.

The continued strong jobs growth led to an important threshold being passed: excluding the construction sector, the numbers at work have now reached the highest level in this State's history, surpassing the previous peak almost a decade ago.

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