ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary

The executive summary is here.

19 replies on “ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary”

I posted the following on the Seamus Coffey thread just a few minutes ago, but before the ESRI thread was opened. Perhaps someone who has been willing to pay for the full report (I’m not) will be kind enough to tell us if it makes any mention of their past migration forecasts.

It is good to see that Seamus Coffey is getting priority on this site over the ESRI Quarterly Bulletin (summer edition), which was published today (1st of September). Apart from the fact that ESRI obviously don’t know that it is now autumn (their summer edition usually comes out in June – what delayed it this year?), it is notable that nowhere in their Press Release, in their Executive Summary, or in any of the media reports, do they utter a single word about migration. No forecasts for migration, no reference to what the census revealed about the accuracy of their past forecasts for migration. Quelle surprise! I expect Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to talk much about last Sunday’s match either. But, I wonder if any of the media raised the subject at the ESRI Press Briefing last night? I very much doubt it.

In fairness, I should point out that I haven’t read the full report yet (just the Executive Summary and media reports), as you have to pay for the full report, and I certainly have no intention of forking out any money to ESRI. So, if there is any mention of migration in the full report, maybe someone can post what it is on here. But, for the last few years, ESRI’s doom-laden migration forecasts have been their most prominent and most publicised forecasts, but this time round, barely a mention (if any) despite the fact that the census results have been published since their last quarterly bulletin.

In addition, I notice that in their tables in the Executive Summary, ESRI are still using the old figures for employment. But, as Seamus Coffey points out in his vastly superior analysis, these will now have to be revised upwards because of the census results. Yet, ESRI don’t even allude to this likelihood (at least in the Executive Summary). Lets’s hope that they do better in their autumn edition, which should be published next May.

@ JtO

they mention migration once, though it actually appears they are not now expecting very much, something you could have told them a long time ago…

“We expect unemployment will average 14.3 per cent this year, and could be even higher next year unless there is significant outward migration.”

A silent about-face it appears…

@Bond. Eoin Bond – you should be a bit more careful when reading/making big statements. There is a whole box devoted to the Census and Migration estimates.

@JTO – you keep harping on about the same thing. A deliberate, but pointless distractions from the real issues (seeing that the migration numbers are derived (by the CSO and others) as a residual).

@Aidan R and @Gavin Kostick

Have George Osbourne and the staff of the ESRI ever been seen in different places at the same time?

The “In case of emergency, break open Keynes.” lectern should have been used a long time ago, except of course that the number one, no expense spared, priority was to save the European banking system from itself, regardless of the opportunity cost.

In other news Iceland just completed its IMF program. I am feeling pretty smart to have backed the Euro now, let me tell you.

The ESRI Spring report was an outlier in terms of economic forecasts for Ireland in 2012. It was considerably more bullish than the average.

Key forecasts for 2012:

ESRI Spring Report
GDP 2012: + 3%
GNP 2012: +2%
Consumer Spending 2012: +2%
Unemployment rate: 14%
Exchequer Balance: -€17bn
Gov Debt/GDP: 116%

The Summer Report is less bullish on growth but more positive on government finances. The change in the consumer spending forecast is the main driver in their downward revision of growth rates in 2012.

ESRI Summer Report
GDP 2012: + 2.3%
GNP 2012: +0.7%
Consumer Spending 2012: +0%
Unemployment rate: 14.5%
Exchequer Balance: -€14.5bn
Gov Debt/GDP: 109%

This latest update brings the ESRI back closer to consensus growth figures for 2012 even if it still leaves them on the optimistic end of the spectrum.

As an aside- The most extreme outlier among Irish economic forecasters at present remains Ernst and Young as far as I know whose most recent forecast is for a huge contraction in H2 of this year, continuing into 2012 leading to the government deficit ballooning out once more. Thankfully the most recent coincident and leading indicators suggest we will get to year end in reasonably good shape so it appears their dire forecast will prove to be incorrect.

@ Scorpio

would that be in the executive summary linked on here and freely available, or the full commentary that is behind a paywall, not available publicly and not linked on here?

I think Ernst and Younge might be closer to the mark. According to the FT today a lot of Asian countries are contracting fairly rapidly and the US signals do not bode well. Roubini forecast a 60% chance of recession. It’s time to get real and prepare for a downward trend.

@Bond. Eoin Bond – naturally in the full commentary. I do not think that there is any point in commenting on the summary without looking at the detail and analysis.

@ Scorpio

so this thread is a bit pointless for all but those who have the full copy?

I do think JtO has a fair point though that, even if in the full copy, why does nothing more than a very minor, and somewhat about face as i noted, comment on migration make it into the executive summary? Could they not have penned a couple of lines about how the surprising census results changed quite a bit of the underlying maths on many metrics and forecasts?

@Bond. Eoin Bond – no doubt they could have put all sorts of things into the summary. My reading of the QECs is that the migration numbers have never been terribly central (see my first comment) – it is JTO who keeps making this a bigger issue than it is.

I think it is more useful to discuss some of the main points like the emphasis on cost reductions rathern than wage reductions for competitiveness.

How can you make any informed comment about migration until the census results are published next year. Others might think that the figures for employment should increase on the back of the census preliminary results, but by how much? Do you assume the extra 100,000 people are all employed? Surely JTO isn’t attempting to encourage unsubstantiated forcasting?

@ Ceterisparibus

Do you not think that percentage estimates of a recession are bullshit — even from the eminent Dr. Doom?


The report says: The methodology is basically sound and is preferable to the previous reliance on net passenger movements by sea and air, which historically formed the backbone of annual estimates of migration. If the estimated net migration figure for the period April 2006 to April 2010 of 63,000 was correct, the census results would imply that there was a net inflow of over 55,000 people in the year to April 2011. This number seems highly implausible when the general expectation was that there had been a net outflow in that year. The CSO has suggested that inward migration was stronger in the early part of the intercensal period and that this was followed by a switch to net outward migration towards the end of the period. This suggests that the annual population and migration estimates need to be revised back to 2006.

In general, Census results are taken as absolutes, but there may be some benefit in revisiting the 2006 Census results with the additional information available from the 2011 Census and other administrative data, and examining the emigration estimates that are derived from the QNHS. It is important to have reasonably accurate population data as the QNHS itself is weighted to reflect population estimates by age, sex, and region. Furthermore the initial selection of households for the QNHS is based on population density. These revisions are potentially very important to estimates of the labour force, employment and unemployment as well as many of the characteristics of the labour force.


its less a recession and more a, as Wilburr Ross said, a “subression”, a period of just really crappy growth for a longer than usual period. People aren’t losing jobs, there’s just none being made.

@ Phillip II

does the ESRI full report come as a freebie/perk to you academics? Would seem to be a bit unfair to let you academic elites discuss this amongst yourselves without the rest of us private sector hacks having a go on the basis of the executive summary to which we are only privy. Please feel free to point out any important notes on migration that the full ESRI report makes.

@Bond Eoin Bond/MH

It is not only Roubini forecasting a recession. I see El Erian saying today that the chances of recession in EU are 33-50%. As for Wilbur…I think I will take his subpression with a grain of…..

@Mark Dowling

I was going by the calendar. It says autumn starts on 1 September. If I went by the weather, like you do in North America, summer over here ended on 3 June.

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