National Accounts

After a temporary misstep the latest Quarterly National Accounts have now been released.  For Q1 2012 they show that real GDP dropped 1.1% in the quarter so this poll was fully wrong while this poll was somewhat right.

To add to the confusion the release shows an economy that has contracted but exited recession at the same time.  The Q4 2011 change has been revised from a quarterly contraction of 0.2% to an expansion of 0.7% meaning that there was not two consecutive quarters of contraction following the decline in Q3 2011. 

In fact, there has not been two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction since the end of 2009.  This is very much an L-shaped recession.

The National Income and Expenditure Annual Results for 2011 have also been released.  Real GDP growth for 2011 was 1.4% but there was a GNP decline of 2.4%.  Nominal GDP was just under €159 billion.

As expected the Balance of Payments shows a small current account surplus for 2011.  If the BoP numbers aren’t big enough you can always have a glance at the Quarterly International Investment Position and External Debt figures.  The net column shows that there are lots of big numbers on the asset and liability sides.

51 replies on “National Accounts”

who cares anymore – call me when there is some finality to the eurozone crisis either way.

It could be worse……. I was expecting worse…….
But what exactly is this fixed capital formation increase ?
I don’t see much happening around my Gaff.

But personnel consumption is down on a quarterly basis which explains the empty streets and empty bars.
And now firmly in the high 19,000s now in my opinion.

This is a structured engineered crisis me thinks.
Its time Italy and Spain took the punches to create the all new Soviet we all wanted for Christmas (Batteries not included)

Pretty good revisions to the previous estimates. How is it that estimates going back two years or more can be revised now?

It seems that the latest quarterly estimate should come with a major health warning. Whatever estimate they give for GDP seems to be subject to later revision with a standard deviation of around 1 percentage point. i.e With a GDP estimate of -1.5%, we can be around 95% confident that the actual number will be subsequently revised to between -3.5% and +0.5%.

So about as reliable as Met Eireann’s next day forecast.


“It seems that the latest quarterly estimate should come with a major health warning.:

It does!

“The calculation methods for quarterly accounts are similar to those used in the annual National Income and Expenditure. As some of the available sources are of lesser reliability than those used for the annual national accounts, the quarterly estimates are subject to a greater margin of error than the annual figures. These preliminary estimates will therefore be revised when the next detailed annual results are published.”

It seems perverse to focus on the Q1 contraction when part of the reason for it is that Q4 turned out to be better than expected.

How can GNP not decline further given the unemployment situation and the contraction in many eurozone countries? The recession in Ireland is not bottoming out from the figures. FDI is unlikely to return in such volumes that will see 50,000 taken off unemployment. The continuing decline in GNP figures are crisis warnings but there appears to be little by way of crisis planning – except for the banks.

I’m confused!

The Exchequer results for Q1 and Q2 both show healthy VAT returns in line with profile, and corporation and income tax are ahead of plan. Yet we have a lousy set of results for GDP and GNP in Q1.

There is nothing in the profiles which points to a bad start and a bounce back later in the year.

Any suggestions?

@ Alchemist

We are exporting the jobs according to the following which I posted on the other thread..
I am puzzled by the following from the Examiner..

“Irish firms made €261bn in outward direct investment, which is considerably more than the €185bn in foreign direct investment which came into the economy.

“Outward direct investment is now commonplace among a wide range of large and medium sized Irish-owned companies and is seen as a complimentary process to traditional exporting. ”

Maybe Michael Hennigan can shed some light on this.

Like Jagdip above, I’m confused.

I find it hard to believe that Irish companies can find 261 billion to invest abroad.

@ Rob S

“It seems perverse to focus on the Q1 contraction when part of the reason for it is that Q4 turned out to be better than expected.”

The media in general does tend to focus on the latest quarterly data, I agree, but there is some balance. I think Davy’s daily economic commentary is reasonably widely read amongst Irish business people and that gave a pretty fair and detailed overview I think. I’m sure there are other sources too who don’t just focus on the headline quarterly number.

I think the CSO doesn’t help the situation in that the first page of its report puts the latest quarterly estimate front and centre in a very prominent table and the more substantive data pointing to increased GDP estimates for previous periods are relatively concealed.


Nominal GDP (more applicable if it is exchequer revenues we are looking at) is nearly 1.7bn higher in Q1 2012 compared to Q1 2011 although almost exclusively down to Exports.

Much of the Income Tax ‘improvement’ was due more to the first full-year effect of the USC rather than serious underlying improvement was my understanding.

The USC was supposed to bring in an extra couple of hundred million this year compared to last (exact figure escapes me).

Howlin really cracks me up…….
A little evil smurf

He claims he is concerned for unemployment……….

He clearly has not read his Fishers debt deflation (thanks to S.o.V. for picking out this quote) or maybe he has and claims ignorance.

38. On the other hand, if the foregoing analysis is correct, it is always economically possible to stop or prevent such a depression simply by reflating the price level up to the average level at which outstanding debts were contracted by existing debtors and assumed by existing creditors, and then maintaining that level unchanged. That the price level is controllable is not only claimed by monetary theorists but has recently been evidenced by two great events:


39. Those who imagine that Roosevelt’s avowed reflation is not the cause of our recovery but that we had “reached the bottom anyway” are very much mistaken. At any rate, they have given no evidence, so far as I have seen, that we had reached the bottom. And if they are right, my analysis must be woefully wrong. According to all the evidence, under that analysis, debt and deflation, which had wrought havoc up to March 4, 1933, were then stronger than ever and, if let alone, would have wreaked greater wreckage than ever, after March 4. Had no “artificial respiration” been applied, we would soon have seen general bankruptcies of the mortgage guarantee companies, savings banks, life insurance companies, railways, municipalities, and states. By that time the Federal Government would probably have become unable to pay its bills without resort to the printing press, which would itself have been a very belated and unfortunate case of artificial respiration. If even then our rulers should still have insisted on “leaving recovery to nature” and should still have refused to inflate in any way, should vainly have tried to balance the budget and discharge more government employees, to raise taxes, to float, or try to float, more loans, they would soon have ceased to be our rulers. For we would have insolvency of our national government itself, and probably some form of political revolution without waiting for the next legal election. The mid-west farmers had already begun to defy the law.”

You print baby……i.e. the Goverment prints
Our goverment has no role.
They only wish to hold your hand.

When you make people unemployed you are simply throwing them off a monetary cliff to sustain exponential growth on the existing money stock.

The true waste is in Irish energy & import use patterns.
There is no internal economy withen Ireland because we were always effectively non sovergin.
We must farm external capital flows to now absurd levels to sustain this very strange and distorted economy.
A large North Atlantic Island with no fishery industry……a sick joke really.

@Rob S
Would it be safe to assume that the added exports are all down to Google in view of the following report?
“Google is the largest exporting company in the country with total exports for 2011 reaching €10.1bn, which is a 55% increase on the €6.5bn of exports posted by the internet giant in 2010.”

But is this real? Obviously the Irish markets doesn’t generate anything like those numbers so we are classifying google ad revenue from Europe as our own exports.


I am not making any claim about the export figures – if anything my point was in agreeing with Jagdip that domestic growth, based on the QNA, does not seem to have been responsilbe for whatever Exchquer growth between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012.

@ Fiatluxjnr

The Google data is in respect of 2009/2010. The 2011 accounts haven’t been filed yet.

The ‘outward’ investment figure has jumped from about €190bn two years ago and that may relate to the inclusion of some companies moving headquarters to Ireland. That has to be checked.

CRH is the biggest Irish multinational but it’s a fiction that investments are made from Ireland.

As indigenous firms only account for 10% of annual tradeable exports, the linkages with Ireland are poor. Elan is essentially a US firm; Smurfit Kappa has limited operations in Ireland.

@ All

There’s a €1.5bn rise in capital formation in the quarter but that relate to some aviation leasing plane purchases.

There is a lot of clutching at straws and exports have risen 6.1% in the year.

An IBEC economists says: ‘The annual figures show that services exports grew by 12% in Q1, which is reflective of the overall strength of the technology sector in recent times. Another says: ‘Euro area recession has little impact on Irish exports.’

These fairytales have a receptive audience.

Here we see again that what essentially is the result of fraudulent accounting, is accepted as reflecting a positive real development.

Growth was split between services (up 11.9% on the year in Q1) and goods (just 1.1%). Irish exports rose by 2.6% on the quarter and are up 6.1% on the year.

Microsoft Ireland had an 18% jump in revenues in 2011, a lower payroll and a lower tax bill in Ireland. So with Facebook on stream, there will be more spoof Irish exports and so on.

So there should be no confusion as to why there are 2 separate economies operating in Ireland.

Two enterprise agencies have issued annual reports today.

IDA announced in excess of 5,000 jobs in the first six months of 2012 and in 2011, a net jobs increase of 6,000 – – the biggest increase since 2002.

Full time permanent jobs in agency supported foreign firms is at the 1999 level.

So Minister Bruton’s busy jobs announcement schedule gives the appearance of action but FDI is not a solution for the jobs crisis.

Science Foundation Ireland has produced more hot air today.

Minister Sherlock assured the nation: “The 158% increase which SFI has seen in the number of industry-academic linkages over the past four years, is certainly a significant achievement and testament to the focus of the organisation and the dedicated and innovative minds of its researchers..SFI’s focus on excellence has supported Ireland’s maintaining its position in the top 20 of countries for the quality of research, this is the platform on which the industrial collaboration and commercialisation is built.”

Live in hope and die in despair!

Total Domestic Demand incrased by 1.5% q-on-q primarily due to an increase in GDFC (investment).

Government spending was also positive in the quarter, but I assume this was due to the one-off costs of the early retirement schemes? Am I right in saying the CSO’s seasonal adjustment wouldn’t strip that out?

The growth fairy now lives elsewhere

Cormac Lucey posted this back in March

“The official forecasts for GNP growth for this year (2012) have been:
(i) December 2009 (Budget 2010) +4.1%, (ii) December 2010 (Budget 2011) +2.6%, (iii) December 2011 (Budget 2012) +1.0%, (iv) February 2012 (Central Bank) -0.7%.

The steady pattern of downward revisions replicates the pattern we saw for economic growth in 2011.”

What must outsiders looking into this bog make of these figures.

Its such a strange non place really – all activity going on around the edge but nothing inside.
pre 1987 we are a absurdly open economy but post 1987……….

What can one say ?
The only choice is reintegrating with the UK Frankenstein prototype market state experiment (pre 1979?)…….. or producing sovergin currency that can stimulate domestic commerce and re nationalise the remaining wealth base.
The problem with the first option is the UK has 2 million banking mouths to feed now.(I think I heard this on Newsnight – correct me if I am wrong)
They are much more energy intensive beasts then the great army of the unemployed.
Although these guys would argue they are wealth creators for some reason.

It would be back to Spuds and cabbage for us 7 days a week……and lets hope there is no crop failure.

What a wonderfully sick world.
I am becoming more and more Jeffersonian in my old age it seems.
Whats the point of creating wealth with debt if all the surplus is extracted to pay the rent ?

GNP per head for Y2011 is a pretty picture……

Y2007 : 37,384
Y2008 : 34,727
Y2009 : 29,805
Y2010 : 29,123
Y2011 : 28,325

Y2012 ? : 27 thousand something ?

Not very sensible to rear my Dorkish head in this dangerously PC country but don’t you think we need to look at our borders like ?

What is a country if it does not have borders ?
Oh sorry I forgot , Euro countries are different.
They are merely jurisdictions where capital and subsequently labour are free to move whatever the damage because that is the dogma.

Its not working folks.
The one remaining advantage we have is our still relatively low population density.

Some of us have been in these threads long enough to remember a certain commenter with a name like John the Baptist telling us that other indicators didn’t accord with the gloomy GDP numbers for 2009-2011.

Whatever happened to JtO? Did he get assumed into data heaven by the confidence fairy 🙂

You can see the revisions working through the data if you compare the national accounts of 2010.
(Or is this and /or the new pop data ?)

NATIONAL ACCOUNTS Y2010 ( Pub .Aug 2011)
GNP per head (also current)
Y2007 : 37,661
Y2008 : 34,977
Y2009 : 29,653
Y2010 : 28,677.

PS I don’t follow (Dork is confused) – should not the new Data show greater falls given the new higher population data ?

Is this a straight division of GNP / population are is there more complex calculations ?

The Y2011 data shows Y2010 as 29,123
The Y2010 data show Y2010 as 28,677

Am I missing something besides me sanity. (explain the methodology of this someone)

Sorry Y2012 data shows… Y2010 as 29,123
Y2011(aug) data shows….Y2010 as 28,677

@ Jagdip,

Tax revenue is based on nominal activity. Per Table 2 nominal GDP in Q1 2012 is 4.3% up on the same period in 2011.

Also there are some complications in the Exchequer Statements that make annual comparisons difficult such as delayed 2011 Corporation Tax being added to the 2012 figures and PRSI receipts being reclassified as Income Tax. VAT is 2.2% up in the year which is not a stellar performance given the increase in the standard rate.

Agree with you on the nominal figures. Both GDP and GNP look good on a YoY comparison (given that Q1 seems to have become the weakest quarter).

“VAT is 2.2% up in the year which is not a stellar performance given the increase in the standard rate.”
Actually, I think this is a pretty good out-turn. There were predictions of a collapse in VAT revenue due to raising the rate. It hasn’t been borne out. Mind you, an increase in headline VAT from 21% to 23% would suppose a 9.something% increase in income?

Does anyone know if there is a breakdown of VAT receipts anywhere?

@Seamus / Jagdip

re VAT performance:

The standard rate of vat increased from 21% to 23%, an increase of 9.5%.
Allowing for the fact that the 13.5% rate was reduced to 9% for selected expenditures and that the 13.5% rate did not change at all, would it fairer to say that a larger increase in vat would have been expected?

Would the additional state expenditure on lump-sums (jan/feb 2012) count as additional GNP/GDP? I assume it does as it is govt exp. If so, the underlying figures are worse than those reported?

But these figures will not come as a surprise to those working in the locally traded goods and services sector.
In fact on anecdotal evidence, the economy took another significant dip in April. So I would not be expecting any improvement in these figures for Q2.

@Michael Burke
You propose reinflating one of the largest (per-capita) credit bubbles the world has ever seen. Perhaps you should consider alternate methods for growth in the economy.


JtO was banished to ie purgatory

Karl Whelan went there under his own steam.

@ Michael,

You are correct to highlight the collapse in investment as the main driver of the collapse in GDP but you don’t say why it has fallen. As you point out GFCF has fallen in real terms by about €21 billion since 2007. Table 17 shows that investment in constant prices in property and construction related activity has fallen from €25 billion in 2007 to €9 billion in 2011. It shouldn’t be surprising that the bursting of the property bubble is responsible for 75% of the collapse in investment.

In nominal terms investment by the household sector was €26 billion in 2006. This, of course, was mainly the purchase in new houses. By 2010 it had fallen to €5 billion and was probably even lower in 2011.

I thought they abolished that place…or maybe I’m mistaken..was it limbo?

@Seamus/Rob, accepted about the nominal versus real GDP but inflation is running in line with profile (profile = Dept of Finance forecast by month) but we are ahead of the game with the Exchequer results but these GDP/GNP results today for Q1, 2012 are dreadful.

For the time being, I remain confused!

@ Jagdip,

This might offer something to ease the confusion.

I’m not sure I’d view today’s figures as “dreadful”. They again show an economy going nowhere. However the only component of GDP to show a real seasonally adjusted fall was consumption. All of government expenditure, investment, exports and imports rose.

@ Joseph

Government expenditure on social welfare, pay and pensions do not directly appear in the National Accounts. They are counted in consumption when the money is spent. To do otherwise would be double-counting. Government expenditure in GDP is expenditure on goods and services.

Me thinks we are looking at a economy in chaos…………

Much of this complexity could be reduced if credit deposit claims were turned into more equity like claims……….. if the credit deposits were turned into national debt interest free greenbacks and the private claims declared null and void it would go most if not all of the way towards making sense of this debt infested system
As the monetary system we now have is not capable of reflecting even basic internal commerce and failing the most basic medium of exchange criteria…..i.e. its available to transact.

The remaining wealth of this gaff would not disappear ….. where would it go ?
Ireland is a geographical reality as far as I am aware.
The debt masters can’t Philadelphia experiment a entire country can they ?

I can see the headlines now.
The monetary powers inject a entire country into monetary hyperspace when it declares their debt money system is a load of crap…

It’s offensive how little they care about unemployment. These figures are bad.
We were meant to be recovering at this stage. The country is turning into a kip

The guys in charge refuse to give the citizen serfs equity like claims in this gaff.

We are a number – collateral on a balance sheet……a slave.

In a way its encouraging they won’t give us equity yet as it probally means we are worth something.
If they ever decide to give it back the assumption then would be we are worthless.

Its a extraction operation.
4 years of talk talk talk talk.

No wonder Freud found us unquantifiable.
Perhaps thats why they F$£Ked up the input output thingies so bad.

They have no solid data on us….
A bunch of Irish Freaks

Meanwhile down at CSO Lunar Base.

Seamus : 8 “comments” from 36 from one source. That’s what, 25-20%? And each as incomprehensible as the next. Can nobody solve this infestation of dorkish babbling? Do ye not have spam controls or something?

So you don’t think the GNP per head crashing is important then ?
Give me a break.
Attack the central point not the man by pleading to the moderator to dump the discourse that can cut to the quick of this.

Don’t you see we are at that 1820s moment.
Do you actually know the History of this place ?
The Massive Post Napoleonic depression , the over population as a result of deindustrialisation or nonindustrialisation and the every sperm is sacred flaw we had.
The Rockite agrarian insurgency.
The subsequent famine 20+ years afterwards.

Its yee guys who are off the wall.
Its looks like most of yee want to suck your collective thumbs and just watch this train wreck.
Everything post 1987 has been a complete and utter disaster.

Dork. Your constant comments on and in a manner most people find at best incomprehensible at worst demented derail each and every thread in this site. You refuse to engage and try to explain wher it is your coming from. Slavery….extraction… money/deposits…it’s well meaning I’m sure but incomprehensible. And persistent.
The moderators of the site really need to get a grip. If any other commenter were as persistent and as oblique they’d be gone. What grip do you have on them?

Dermot O’Leary of Goodbody says today:

For 2010, the year that Ireland returned to surplus, the CSO increased its estimate of the surplus by €1bn to €1.8%. The revision in 2011 was even larger – €1.6bn – resulting in the current account surplus remaining at 1.1% of GDP, the largest since 1997.

Large current account deficits in numerous euro area countries were the biggest sign of overheating and lost competitiveness. By extension, the return to current account surplus must be a sign of improved competitiveness, albeit somewhat due to depressed domestic demand.

All of the peripheral economies are seeing improvements in their current account positions but Ireland’s move, from a deficit of 7% of GDP in Q3 2008 (on a rolling four-quarter basis) to 1.7% of GDP in Q1 2012 is the most impressive. We see this surplus getting even larger over the coming three years.

Brendan Keenan says in the Indo: “the huge impact of software and computer services firms based in Ireland played havoc with the national economic statistics and widened the gap between output and the income available to Ireland, latest data shows.”

It’s certainly had to avoid the impact of the FDI sector but neverthless it is often ignored.

On Dermot O’Leary’s point on improved ‘competitiveness,’ actaul data again is distorted by the MNCs and I doubt that it is a significant factor.

The agri-food sector has been helped in recent years not by jumps in output but by rises in international commodity prices.

What is happening with the trade surplus is that bogus services exports are generally matched by royalty (some royalties would relate to goods manufacturing) and business services charges. So the trade was in balance in the quarter.

The goods surplus was over €8bn. Some of that would be kept in USD in the accounts of US banks.

Having surplus is not going to help the domestic economy.

Positions at the end of a peruiod and what happens within the period are likely to be different,

hoganmahew, Seamus

You attribute views to me I don’t hold.

The evidence that the decline in investment is responsible for the entirety of the slump is incontrovertible.

GFCF in 2011 comprised little more than 10% of GDP. In the Euro Area it was over 19% of GDP (and much higher still in the BRICS). At €16bn it was little more than the provision for depreciation. Any lower and things will literally fall apart. The rundown of flood defences demonstrates this proposition.

This economy has a large infrastructure deficit in terms of rail, port facilities, broadband as well as underdeveloped energy, water and waste facilities. There are also 98,000 households in the state who are in need of social housing.

The argument that the fall in GFCF was all an unsustainable housing boom, with the implication that we are well rid of it, is incorrect on two counts:

1. The fall in GFCF directed to dwellings was approx. €16bn between 2007 and 2011, the period over which GFCF fell. But the total fall in GFCF is twice that, at €32bn (NIE, Table 15). Every other category of GFCF fell over the same period, bar software.

2. The unsustainability of the housing boom, while leaving nearly 100,000 household in want of decent affordable housing (the largest category for over 4 years), and letting infrastructure decline is a function of allowing market forces solely to determine the allocation of investment.

Investment is the cause of the slump and is now too low in this economy to provide any prospect of near-term recovery or long-term prosperity. It is damagng to competitveness. Nearly all categories of investment have fallen and need to be increased.

Some time ago Keynes argued for a ‘somehat comprehensive socialisation of investment’ to address economic crisis. This is what is required.

I guess I am dealing with people with no historical context.

Because the Rockites were both anti clerical and anti Landlord – that period of history was effectivally wiped from the school textbooks.

There was a massive boom especially in the south of this country during what was really a World War or at least a Trans Continental war.

Many 100s of ships excited Cork Harbour during the War of 1812….. sometimes in a single day under convoy.
(remember the war of 1812 was a Bank war like all Modern Great wars – it was all about the First Bank of the US)
Their Holds were full of Irish agricultural products -which meant the farmers were doing well.
By the late 18teens 1820s the demand was gone.
The Rothschilds who took over the BoE refused to cancel the war debt.
The money supply collpased on these Isles.

The guys who are the “advisors” to the Irish Goverment now that Merill Lynch are gone are who do you think ?

History is repeating itself.

You are mixing things up.
The money demand comes first.
Most of the people don’t have the money (energy credits)

If there is no money demand you cannot know what to invest in.
Indeed you would be crazy to invest.
I think railways are a good bet when / if the debt is written off but I could be wrong.
Who Knows ?

@ Michael,

I don’t think I incorrectly attributed any views you to. I merely expanded on the point that the €20 billion real drop in investment is mainly down to the ending of the property bubble.

It wasn’t just the figure for dwellings that the property boom affected. Yes, Table 15 shows a €16 billion drop in Dwellings investment, but there is also a €6 billion drop in Other Buildings and Construction investment and a €3 billion drop in Costs Associated with Transfer of Land and Building (this is mainly Stamp Duty).

The full impact of the construction bubble is a €25 billion nominal drop in investment out of the €32 billion drop that you refer to.

And even then it is likely that the collapse in construction activity is not unrelated to the €2 billion drop in Transport Equipment investment and the €2 billion drop in Other Machinery and Equipment investment.

Investment had not stalled because profits are not being reinvested; it has stalled because we stopped building houses, offices and retail parks.

I agree we have problems with investment. See here, here, here and here and this recording. But lets not fool ourselves about why it fell in the first place.

@ Seafoid

JtO went of his own volition to set up his own website I believe (though I’m not sure it is up and running yet). Ala Karl.

@ Seamus

You protest that you incorrectly attributed any views to me. But then conclude,

“Investment had not stalled because profits are not being reinvested; it has stalled because we stopped building houses, offices and retail parks.

I agree we have problems with investment. See here, here, here and here and this recording. But lets not fool ourselves about why it fell in the first place.”


I’m happy to debate the causes of the investment collapse. But my focus had been on what could now be done to remedy it.

There is an investment deficit across a range of sectors. The repetition of the point, which is accepted, that the investment slump is dominated by construction and within that housing, doesn’t really advance the debate very much. Unless we want to embed both the infrastrucure deficit and the housing crisis, then policy should focus on what might be done to both revive and redirect investment.

I made no mention here of profits. But I’d be very happy to debate why they have risen as wage compensation has fallen. And what might be done with them.

When can you have enough stuff ?
Theres enough stuff for everybody.
Different stuff will perhaps be needed in a different monetary envoirment.
But there surely is enough stuff don’t you think ?
People don’t have any money in their Pockets Micheal.
They never did – it was credit – which is why it needed to grow to such absurd proportions.
Enough with the more stuff arguments.

@Michael Burke
Sorry for the late response.

“The argument that the fall in GFCF was all an unsustainable housing boom, with the implication that we are well rid of it, is incorrect on two counts:”
It is not the housing boom, it is the credit bubble.

The country is not built, but it is borrowed. Wishing that the lending fairy would come back is not going to make it happen. Until you can get someone to pay for increased investment, you are not going to see increased investment. The EIB has stumped up some, maybe it will cough up a bit more?

@Michael Burke

Japan had about 10 infrastructure-led stimulus programs in the period 1991-2000.

It now has an impressive infrastructure, much higher debt and both women and young people continue to get a raw deal in an ageing society.

A recent business survey found that 30.4% of the companies “want” female workers to take child care leave and return to work, while 44.3% said they “somewhat want” them to do so.

So, it can be easy to put lipstick on an Irish pig.

Besides, the record of project management is very poor.

I don’t think Japan is a good example to compare with.
It is a semi sovergin state that has a CB that can drive down rates(QE) and a treasuary that is prepared to produce new Yen in extremis.

The problems withen Ireland are almost entirely because of our non sovergin nature which distorts all internal commercial activity to extreme levels.

Don’t be so hard on the Irish – they will never be Japanese (thank God) but you can’t hope to know what to invest in when there is no money in the system as there is no rational demand.
Ireland is simply not a closed system.
The pipes are leaking all over the gaff.

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