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Ireland in 'unexpected economic comeback' - Financial Times

Two Oxford University academics and Irish business group, IBEC, say Ireland’s economic health is not as bad as people (read: ratings agencies) think.

Although some resistance to austerity has been seen in Ireland, as illustrated by the graffiti in this image, Watson and Vine praised Ireland's
Although some resistance to austerity has been seen in Ireland, as illustrated by the graffiti in this image, Watson and Vine praised Ireland's "admirable social resilience".

IRELAND COULD BE the eurozone’s trump card for its debt strategy.

That is according to two economists writing in the Financial Times this week. David Vines and Max Watson, a professor of economics and a fellow at Oxford University, said yesterday that Ireland is on the way to an “unexpected economic comeback”.

The academics noted that markets and ratings agencies could have made a “major error” in their assessment of Ireland’s public debt.

Pointing to changes in macroeconomic fundamentals that are helping Ireland return to growth, Vines and Watson said they provide “the most important defence there can be against all forms of shock”.

They also said that borrowers could “relearn to love” Ireland because it is fully funded until 2014.

The Oxford academics concluded, “An Irish success story of the kind we think is underway will come to be seen as a precious and crucial trump card for the eurozone debt strategy.”

The business group IBEC welcomed the article this morning and said it also remained upbeat on the Irish economy.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, IBEC President Danny McCoy agreed that Ireland is trading its way to recovery and that the measures implemented by the Irish Government are paying off.

He said that Ireland is not heading towards a double-dip recession despite global market turmoil. Agreeing with Vine and Watson’s assessment of the economy, McCoy said that the country is regaining its competitiveness.

He also noted that Ireland is going to record positive growth in 2011 for the first time in four years.

According to McCoy, what is needed now is more ambition. There should be no more austerity beyond the €3.6 billion already planned by the Government.

Read: David Vines and Max Watson on Ireland’s economic comeback in the FT >

Listen: Danny McCoy on RTÉ Radio this morning >

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