Saturday 16 December 2017

Editorial: Common sense is crucial for an economic revival

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan pictured at Government Buildings
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan pictured at Government Buildings

ECONOMIC growth of 2.7pc sounds frothy. In many countries, a turbo-charged spurt like that in just three months would fuel fears of overheating, but here in Ireland it probably reflects the fact that our economic data is erratic, to say the least. The bad news is that the economy almost certainly did not grow that fast in the early months of 2014. The good news is that we know the economy expanded last year. Previous estimates, and all GDP figures are only estimates, had the economy shrinking.

There was further good news yesterday when it was revealed that the economy is bigger than previously calculated, helped in part by the inclusion of prostitution for the first time in the complex calculus used to measure the size of an economy.

In theory, this gives Michael Noonan room to introduce a fairly mild Budget in October, assuming he is still Finance Minister after the reshuffle and the economy continues to perform well.

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