| 13.6°C Dublin

Close

Premium

Central Bank sees 'severe' outcome if virus surges

Covid-19 'hits rural jobs nearly 50pc harder than in urban areas'

Close

The queue normal: Customers wait for a haircut as lockdown restrictions are eased. Photo: Getty Images

The queue normal: Customers wait for a haircut as lockdown restrictions are eased. Photo: Getty Images

Getty Images

The queue normal: Customers wait for a haircut as lockdown restrictions are eased. Photo: Getty Images

The Covid-19 crisis has hit employment in rural areas harder than in cities and could keep joblessness stubbornly high if lockdown measures achieve "only limited success in containing the virus", the Central Bank says.

Its quarterly bulletin published today outlines 'baseline' and 'severe' scenarios for the extent of economic damage that Covid-19 could inflict on Ireland through 2022. Both presume sharp losses this year followed by a 2021 recovery.

But Mark Cassidy, the Central Bank's director of economics and statistics, warned that Ireland's path to recovery could take even longer if Britain fails in coming months to strike a free trade agreement with the EU. Resorting to World Trade Organisation rules with Ireland's top trading partner would knock a further one to two percentage points off Irish growth from 2021 onward, Mr Cassidy said.