Saturday 18 November 2017

Marc Coleman: If recovery is on the cards, then banks need to start believing in it

The economy may be on the path to more sustainable growth but it needs credit to flow.

Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

On one issue at least, Eamon Gilmore is right. As he said before the general election, Ireland's best days are still ahead of it. Proof of the economy's potential to recover was clear last week from employment figures showing a healthy growth of 1.1 per cent a year. Modest to be sure. But enough to get unemployment down to an acceptable 7 per cent by 2020 and back to full employment within 10 years.

Now below 14 per cent for the first time in three years, unemployment figures are – it's fair to point out – flattered by emigration. Yes, there are far too many jobless out there. But that our unemployment rate is falling while eurozone unemployment rose last month to 12.2 per cent, shows at least on this front that our Government is going in the right direction.

That is mainly due to Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, with some credit also due to Leo Varadkar: the cut in VAT for the hospitality sector has played a significant role in creating jobs in hotels and restaurants. (Memo to Cabinet: tax cuts work).

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