Flat sales stark reminder of harsh Budgets
Yesterday's figures from the CSO, which showed that the Irish economy shrunk in the third quarter of this year, merely confirms anecdotal evidence that the economic growth that we experienced in the first half of this year has stalled. With retailers slashing prices in a desperate attempt to drum up some pre-Christmas sales, the economic outlook remains grim.
According to the CSO, the Irish economy as measured by GDP contracted by 1.9pc in the three months to the end of September. However, even more disturbing was the much steeper fall in GNP, which excludes repatriated multinational profits.
This was down by 2.2pc. It is this fall in GNP, basically the domestic economy, which should really concern us. Without appreciable GNP growth we will never generate the new jobs needed to restore consumer confidence.