Thursday 14 December 2017

Pay rises will remain a flight of fancy with dodo-dead inflation

Economic activity may be on the up, but that isn't being translated into wages growth

Different outlook: Earnings figures are stagnating in Ireland despite claims by the State's statisticians that the country's economy is expanding rapidly Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Different outlook: Earnings figures are stagnating in Ireland despite claims by the State's statisticians that the country's economy is expanding rapidly Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

'What is going on?" the editor of this newspaper asked with more than a hint of irritation. "You bloody economists are all saying that the economy is powering ahead, but people aren't feeling it," he harrumphed.

He has more than a point.

Last Tuesday's monthly consumer confidence survey by the Economic and Social Research Institute and KBC Bank showed more than seven in ten people saying they are either no better off or worse off than a year ago. But then on Friday a new method of measuring the size of the economy, unveiled with some fanfare by the State's statisticians, showed that activity is expanding rapidly even when the 'Leprechaun economics' distorting stuff is stripped out of the growth numbers (that matter is discussed in greater detail in the boxed section below).

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