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If we keep our nerve, the economy will come right

ALL of us yearn for signs that the five-year long economic siege will soon be lifted. With that in mind, we note that the week has ended with some good news and some bad news from the Irish Central Bank. The good news is that there are many positive developments about the Irish economy right now, and that if we can keep going as we are, we could be well fixed to catch an upturn in the overseas economy.

The bad news is that there are discouraging signs reaching us from abroad – especially from our European neighbours – suggesting no swift international economic upturn.

The Irish Central Bank quarterly review, published yesterday, has revised its growth projections for 2013. But let's keep a sense of perspective and note that they still estimate that the Irish economy will grow by 1.2pc in 2013 and 2.5pc next year.

That is a somewhat better future prediction than that for most other countries in the 17-nation eurozone single-currency area.

The Central Bank's warning comes in a prediction that depressed neighbouring economies may be buying less goods and fewer services from Ireland.

But this warning has an attached streak of optimism: Ireland has in recent years become more competitive and better at selling into difficult and sluggish overseas markets.

The Central Bank further suggests that the predicted modest domestic economic growth rates will also lead to some upswing in demand at home.

Since we can do absolutely nothing about the eurozone's economic prospects, we can only focus on what we are doing. We need to offer the customer – at home and overseas – top quality products at keenest possible prices. This is something we are already doing, and now we urgently need to do more of it, and to a higher standard.

This is not a time for faint hearts – we simply need to keep on doing what we are doing and doing it that bit better. This lesson is not an easy one to attract support.

But right now it is the only show in town. If we keep our nerve things will come right – and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Irish Independent