Monday 19 February 2018

Buckle up, we're in for a bumpy landing

The economy is showing all the signs of recovery, but will have to overcome a lot of turbulence first, writes Marc Coleman

'Fasten your seat belts and put your seats in an upright position. We are encountering turbulence." The air hostess's voice quivers as she speaks, and it makes us nervous. A Mexican wave of fear spreads from the front to the back of the aircraft. But three Hail Marys and a stiff whisky later, and the 11.40 from Munich to Dublin is safely on the ground. But it feels like a close-run thing, with strong winds rocking the plane from side to side like a balloon.

After the mixed squall of economic news we got last week, this little story of an airplane -- safe but scary -- landing in Dublin last Wednesday seems to just about sum up what's going to happen to our economy between now and the end of the year. Some say the recession is over. Technically, they are right, in that the proverbial runway is now visible. But the plane is not yet fully landed.

As I emerged from that plane ride another contradiction hits me: instead of the Germanic and unambiguous 30C heat of Munich when I boarded the plane, an Irish mix of rain and sunshine hits me. Fasten your sunglasses and put your umbrellas in an upright position. Only in Ireland.

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