Booking a table is the litmus test of confidence
When Ireland exited the bailout, Ministers Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin were asked how it would impact on weak domestic demand, as consumers struggled to throw off the crisis.
"Try booking a restaurant in Dublin tonight," said Mr Howlin. The suggestion was that the data lagged the reality, and that consumer confidence was picking up again, with restaurants in the capital, offering cut-price deals during the height of the crisis, seeing increased demand.
Fast-forward a year and it was clear that domestic demand was indeed making a comeback.