IRELAND’S COMPETITIVENESS IS already showing signs of reversing gains made during the recession, the National Competitiveness Council has warned.
In its annual benchmark report, the NCC said that major gains have been made across a number of indicators over the last few years, reflected in the downturn in unemployment, export growth and modest pickup in consumer demand.
Launching the report, NCC chairman Dr Don Thornhill warned, however, that “while the economy is once again moving in the right direction, out task is not yet complete and complacency is one of the greatest threats to our future prosperity”.
We cannot afford to ignore the lessons from previous mistakes. A return to economic growth in the present should not blind us to the longer term challenges which persist.
He warned that on some counts, Ireland has already begun to see recent gains evaporate.
“We are especially concerned about the very real threat to Ireland’s cost competitiveness. A range of indicators show that Ireland has already begun to slip in terms of our relative cost competitiveness, following a period of improvement during the recession.”
Losing control of costs imperils progress in job creation and damages living standards, he warned.
The Council recommended that Ireland maintain its course when it comes to fiscal probity, as well as growing and broadening its enterprise base.