Sunday 17 December 2017

Six-cylinder economy motoring – but brakes must be applied for Budget

Interest on the national debt was €2bn in the first three months, which is a lot of money, but almost €200m less than Mr Noonan pencilled in as recently as October
Interest on the national debt was €2bn in the first three months, which is a lot of money, but almost €200m less than Mr Noonan pencilled in as recently as October
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

Firing on all cylinders. That was the description of the Irish economy in the recent report from the IMF. Yesterday’s Exchequer returns suggest it’s a six-cylinder motor.

In the world of the modern multi-national corporation, these returns of government revenue and spending are about the most reliable guide to what the economy is doing. The other is employment data and both are telling the same story.

On Wednesday, the Central Statistics Office calculated that unemployment fell to 10pc last month. The figures for PRSI payments in yesterday’s returns confirm that. PRSI is the broadest financial measure of what is happening in the labour market and receipts are 5.4pc – €123m – higher than this time last year.

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