Terrific article by Mark Mazower here.
This Munich speech by Mario Draghi is interesting – here.
There is a short article in today’s Financial Times reporting that the forecast for mergers and acquisitions activity in Ireland in 2013 looks strong. It is tied to a report from the law firm William Fry. High M&A activity is statistically a strongly pro-cyclical variate (but I believe normally more of a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator).
This morning Eurostat published a news release with the 2011 update of the at-risk-of-poverty-or-social-exclusion statistics for children. The figures come from this earlier short report. The data for Ireland is from 2010 and the headline figure for Ireland immediately stands out in this sentence from the release.
In 2011, the highest shares of those aged less than 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion were registered in Bulgaria (52%), Romania (49%), Latvia (44%), Hungary (40%) and Ireland (38% in 2010), and the lowest in Sweden, Denmark and Finland (all 16%), followed by Slovenia (17%), the Netherlands (18%) and Austria (19%).
The next countries with rates lower than Ireland’s are Lithuania (33%), Italy (32%), Spain (31%), Greece (30%) and Poland (30%). The EU average is 27%.
What is measured is persons who are in at least one of the following categories:
- at risk of poverty (below 60% of median equivalised income after transfers), or
- severely materially deprived (cannot afford four items from a list of nine), or
- living in households with very-low work intensity (adults working less than 20% of work potential).
A release a couple of weeks ago from the CSO showed that the at-risk-of-poverty rate for those aged under 18 in Ireland was 18.6% in 2011. The EU27 average for 2011 was 20.6%. As shown above adding the other two categories (material deprivation and work intensity) gives a figure of 27% for the EU27 and 38% for Ireland.
It is a slight difficulty that a revision of the 2010 data for Ireland has meant a delay in the publication of the granular details. The headline category places Ireland as the fifth-worst in the EU and understanding why that is the case is an important question.