The road from Croker
THE Central Bank's forecast of a modest upturn in the economy in the second half of this year, coupled with separate, upwardly revised predictions of growth for next year, are encouraging, but they do not represent 'green shoots' such as are sprouting in bigger economies, particularly in the US and UK.
Moreover, the Bank has appealed to the Government to at least "broadly state" what additional measures it plans to take if economic improvement proves slower than anticipated. Meanwhile, the Minister for Finance, for the benefit of his Cabinet colleagues, has reiterated that a further €3bn must be found in budgetary cuts for next year.
The agreement with the public sector unions appeared to make that target more problematic. Where will the €3bn come from? Capital spending cuts? Further cuts in social welfare spending? Increased taxes?