CSO Quarterly National Accounts Q1 2010

The CSO released the latest Quarterly National Accounts covering the first quarter of 2010. While seasonally adjusted GDP is up by 2.7% on the previous quarter, GNP is down by 0.5% (net factor outflows were up 11%on the previous quarter) . Compared to the same quarter in 2009 GDP was down by 0.7% and GNP was 4.2% lower. Exports are up compared both to the previous quarter and the same quarter a year ago. Building and construction has continued to contract significantly (-16.3%) while other industry has done very well (+11.6% for Industry including Building and Construction).

Relative Food Prices Across Europe

Yesterday Eurostat released their annual comparison of food prices. It shows that the prices in Ireland are the second highest in the EU after Denmark. What is more worrying is that instead of coming down faster in Ireland than in other countries food prices were actually relatively higher in 2009 than in 2008 or 2007. Irish consumers pay 29.2% more than the EU average. While Italy and Finland improved their relative price levels all other Euro members disimproved. The biggest relative improvement was recorded by Iceland, followed by Sweden and Poland.

Ireland Paying a High Price for Austerity

The New York Times carries a lengthy article (plus plenty of photos in a slideshow format) on the Irish situation: you can read it here.

A more accurate and comprehensive headline might have been: “Ireland paying a high price for boom-bust cycle in property sector and attendant banking crisis, amplified and abetted by procyclical fiscal policy and now requiring a sustained fiscal correction”  – but that is probably too long!

Update:  Paul Krugman adds his view in this post.

The Hand of Henry

According to the Volkskrant, each World Cup match of Oranje costs the Netherlands economy 130 mln euro — essentially because people sit around watching telly instead of working. Oranje has yet to sparkle, so there was limited joy to offset the loss in productivity.

Thanks to Henry, Ireland’s economy was spared a similar fate — although the Boys in Green certainly would have put in a better performance than les Bleus.

Colm Kearney on the smart economy

In today’s Business Post, Colm argues that “smart” should be defined broadly if it is to stimulate economic growth, rather than the narrow focus on gadgets that the government is currently following

Others and I have argued roughly the same, in different words, but without much traction

I guess that in ten years time, when an independent expert will evaluate the lack of return on investment in the smart economy, politicians will argue no one had warned them at the time