Jul 13, 2007

Irish Economy still looking Good?

Bank Of Ireland chief economist Dan McLaughlin said that Ireland has not lost competitiveness, and the economy is still in a period of unprecedented growth
Despite media reports of a slowdown in the housing market and a loss of national competitiveness, the most recent figures - for the first quarter of 2007 - showed that the economy was accelerating, with GDP growing by 7.5 per cent in the first three months of the year.
He said that interest rates were approaching a peak, which would result in a sharp fall in inflation next year, and the housing decline would not be as bad as had been suggested.
Dr McLaughlin said the strong pick-up in exports belied the claim the Republic was "losing competitiveness at a rapid clip".
He said wage increases and job losses did not necessarily mean that the economy had become less competitive.
Unit wage costs - or the cost of manufacturing in relation to productivity - were currently 40 per cent below where they were 10 years ago.
He said IT companies such as Intel, Microsoft and Dell, were experiencing competitive pressures on a worldwide basis - any redundancies were not necessarily the fault of Ireland.
Dr McLaughlin is forecasting that the economy will grow by 6 per cent in 2007 and by 5 per cent in 2008. The consensus forecast among economists is that growth in gross domestic product (GDP) will be lower, at 5 per cent in 2007 and 4 per cent next year.

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