The 'Celtic Tiger' roars again

Ireland's growth rates resemble its glory days a decade a go.

In 2010, Ireland almost went bust. Now its growth rates are back at levels reminiscent of the days of the Celtic Tiger' in the 2000s. GDP rose by 1.5% in the second quarter of 2014, or 6.5% year-on-year.

"Pretty much everything is heading in the right direction," as Philip O'Sullivan of Investec Ireland points out. Exports, crucial to Ireland's GDP, rose by 10% in the first half, while investment is now growing by 15% a year.

Even consumers, shattered by the collapse of the credit bubble, managed to increase spending by an annual 1.3% between April and June.

It helps that Ireland's two top trading partners, the US and the UK, are expanding at a healthy clip, while the euro has weakened and southern European borrowing costs have fallen as the threat of a euro break-up has receded.

But it's not just down to "the luck of the Irish", says the FT. Ireland has "taken the toughest of choices".

Large wage cuts in both the public and private sectors have restored competitiveness. The government also forced the banks to come clean about their losses, paving the way for a recovery in lending.

With public debt still at a "dangerous" 120% of GDP and a huge private debt burden, Ireland isn't out of the woods. But it is certainly peripheralEurope's poster child.

Recommended

Inflation is now at its highest since 1982 – is this the peak?
Inflation

Inflation is now at its highest since 1982 – is this the peak?

At 9%, UK inflation is at its highest for 40 years – and it’s not going anywhere soon, says John Stepek. That means you need to be much more active a…
18 May 2022
Get set for another debt binge as real interest rates fall
UK Economy

Get set for another debt binge as real interest rates fall

Despite the fuss about rising interest rates, they’re falling in real terms. That will blow up a wild bubble, says Matthew Lynn.
15 May 2022
Interest-rate rises mean more pain for stocks
Stockmarkets

Interest-rate rises mean more pain for stocks

Interest rates are rising around the world as central banks try to get inflation under control. That’s hitting stockmarkets – and there is more pain t…
13 May 2022
Why Elon Musk's Twitter takeover could mark the end of the reign of the CEO
Stockmarkets

Why Elon Musk's Twitter takeover could mark the end of the reign of the CEO

The overlords of the corporate world have had their day, says Matthew Lynn. Long live the Technokings!
8 May 2022

Most Popular

The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100
Income investing

The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100

Rupert Hargreaves looks at the FTSE 100’s top yielding stocks for income investors to consider.
18 May 2022
Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?
Share tips

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?

Tobacco company Imperial Brands boasts an impressive dividend yield, and the shares look cheap. But investors should beware, says Rupert Hargreaves. H…
20 May 2022
Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest
Investment strategy

Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest

Merryn talks to Barry Norris of Argonaut capital about the parallels between now and the 1970s; the transition to “green” energy; and the one sector w…
19 May 2022