Monday 18 December 2017

Irish economy on track but more 'heavy lifting' needed - Investec

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRELAND’s economy remains on track but more “heavy lifting” needs to be done to reduce the shortfall in public spending, specialist bank Investec has said.

In its latest economy monitor, the finance house said it was keeping its earlier forecasts that the Irish economy would grow by 0.7pc this year, improving to 2.1pc in 2014.

It said that the most encouraging recent development is the improvement in the jobs market.

“Broadly speaking, Ireland’s public finances continue to trend in the right direction, but more heavy lifting remains to be done to get the deficit to the target of sub-3pc of GDP by 2015,” Investec economist Philip O’Sullivan said.

It said that the headline statistics on trade continue to be impacted by the so-called patent cliff in the pharmaceutical sector.

On the consumer side, the bank said that muted inflation continues to provide respite, while the introduction of the new 132 registration plate and better weather saw retail sales volumes increase in July.

“While the headline Residential Property Price Index points to improvement, with a second successive annual rise posted in July, this masks a ‘two tier’ market, with Dublin and its commuter belt significantly outperforming the rest of the country,” the bank also said.

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