World Bank: World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”


Managing House Price Booms: The Role of Macroprudential Policies

IMF speech by Ratna Sahay here.

Economic and Social Review Winter 2014 Issue

Free online:


Maternal Country of Birth Differences in Breastfeeding at Hospital Discharge in Ireland PDF
Aoife Brick, Anne Nolan 455-484
Middle Class Squeeze? Social Class and Perceived Financial Hardship in Ireland, 2002-2012 PDF
Peter Mühlau 485–509
Testing the Permanent Income Hypothesis for Irish Households, 1994 to 2005 PDF
Petra Gerlach-Kristen 511–535

Policy Section Articles

Averting Crisis? Commentary from the International Institutions on the Irish Property Sector in the Years Before the Crash PDF
Ciarán Michael Casey 537–557
How Have Contracts for Difference Affected Irish Equity Market Volatility? PDF
Shaen Corbet, Cian Twomey 559–577
Telework Isn’t Working: A Policy Review PDF
Michael Hynes 579–602


CSO Data Releases

For the first three quarters of 2014 GDP is running 4.9 per cent ahead of the equivalent period in 2013. GNP is up 4.7 per cent on the same basis.  Quarter on quarter growth has slowed through the year though much of this is likely the result of distorting effects from the MNC sector.

The “contract manufacturing” effect that influenced the quarterly figures at the start of the year seems to have continued into Q3.  This seems to be supported by the Industrial Production data which includes this “contract manufacturing” effect and is highly volatile at the moment.  After rising by over 20 per cent in the first half of the year the volume of industrial production in manufacturing industries fell by 5 per cent in Q3 so remains at the elevated levels.  The figures show that the effect is arising in the pharmaceutical sector.

The Q3 balance of goods trade in the national accounts was around €3 billion higher than the balance shown by the Trade Statistics figures.  The difference was around €2.5 billion in Q2.

In the first nine months of 2013 the national accounting adjustments for goods trade resulted in a difference of just –€76 million between the trades balances recorded in the national accounts and trade statistics.  For the first nine months of 2014 the balance of goods in the national accounts is €7.9 billion greater than that shown in the trade statistics.

The current account of the balance of payments showed a massive surplus equivalent to 8.4 per cent of GDP in Q3.  This has been driven by an improvement in the merchandise balance (with no corresponding outflow on the services side) which is likely the result of the “contract manufacturing” effect discussed above.

It is possible (i.e. this is a guess) that the “contract manufacturing” effect is arising in an Irish-domiciled company.  If it was the Irish-resident branch of an MNC the profits would be recorded as an outflow in the BoP (and also for GNP) in the same quarter they are earned.  If it is an Irish-domiciled (or headquartered) company the profits would not be recorded as an outflow until a cash dividend is paid (assuming those dividends are paid to non-resident shareholders).  It is not appropriate to say that GNP excludes multinational sector profits.

[As an aside one might consider what impact, if any, these activities are having on Corporation Tax revenues.]


In November, consumer prices fell 0.3 per cent for the second month in a row (there was also a fall of 0.2 per cent in September).  Annual inflation is just 0.1 per cent.  Excluding energy products (-2 per cent) and mortgage interest (-12 per cent) inflation in the remaining 85 per cent of the index is around +1 per cent.

All charts from the CSO.

Do First Time Buyers Default Less? Implications for Macro-prudential Policy

New Central Bank Economic Letter by Robert Kelly, Terry O’Malley and Conor O’Toole here.