Monday 23 October 2017

We won't be immune from global woes for ever

HOW long can this go on? Our services and manufacturing sectors are showing signs of expanding at a fair clip but the same measures are slowing almost everywhere else.

Our small, open economy seems curiously immune to what is happening in the rest of the world at the moment.

There are several possible explanations but two seemingly contradictory explanations make the most sense: we have been enjoying some sort of economic recovery and purchasing managers are just too optimistic about the outlook.

Many economists were inclined to dismiss the recent Central Statistics Office figures that showed that gross national product expanded in the second quarter but this flicker of life in the real economy was less surprising to those who follow the PMIs and other indicators such as consumer confidence.

There is every reason to believe things got better over the spring and the latest GNP figures simply reflect that.

The problem is that there are fewer reasons to believe things will continue to improve. Yesterday's purchasing managers' index showed that half of respondents believe demand will increase over the next 12 months.

That would be nice, but it seems unlikely when Europe is on the edge of recession and the economies of the two global superpowers are also slowing.

Indo Business

Also in Business