Posts in the "Macroeconomics" category

Uncertainty and Economic Recovery

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Slowly, the Irish economy is recovering; very slowly! Over the weekend, I and other economists contributed to a article (see here) on the two-speed nature of the recovery. While the exchequers finances are improving (lower unemployment, higher employment, some increased spending, expenditure cuts and new taxes) the impact on the ground is very different. For those returning to work there have been significant, overdue and welcome benefits from recovery while for those already working the challenges of continuing to absorb further austerity has not dissipated.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

Unemployment falls, but at a slower rate

Posted on June 05, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

Rory1 - Rory O'Farrell
Rory O'Farrell

The latest CSO data shows a stabilisation in unemployment rates when compared to the previous month. The standard unemployment rate is currently at 11.8% for May, identical to the rate in April, and 12.0% for the period January to March. This is equivalent to roughly 4,300 less people unemployed.

Though the rate has continued to decline, it is declining at a slower pace than previously. A decline of 0.2% per quarter means it will take 8 and a half years (or autumn 2022) before unemployment reaches 5%.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsMacroeconomics

Employment creation slows to 1,700 as lone mothers left behind

Posted on May 26, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

employment - Quarterly changes in employment (seasonally adjusted)
Quarterly changes in employment (seasonally adjusted)

In somewhat disappointing results (seasonally adjusted) employment grew by only 1,700 jobs in the first quarter of the year. In many ways 2013 can be seen as a blip in terms of job creation as various temporary factors (such as 'The Gathering', self-employed workers moving off Jobseekers Benefit payment, and a temporary bounce following the stabilisation of the economy) came together. That employment in the accommodation and food sector has remained stable can be viewed positively given the end of the boost received by 'The Gathering'.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderJobsMacroeconomics

Unemployment and the European Union

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

Rory O'Farrell, NERI - Rory O'Farrell, NERI
Rory O'Farrell, NERI

In 2013, unemployment in Germany, at 5.3 per cent, was at its lowest level since reunification. In the same year, Spain’s unemployment rate, 26.4 per cent, was at its highest level since at least the 1960s, before which reliable statistics are more difficult to come by. Austrian unemployment is also low at 4.9 per cent, and though Ireland’s nearest neighbour, the UK, has unemployment of 7.6 per cent this is simply on a par with previous recessions, such as during the early to mid 1990s.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsMacroeconomics

Time to think about the type of Ireland we want to live in

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Micheál Collins

The impact of the various austerity measures over recent years has been, and continues to be, felt by families in every corner of the country. Whether it is pay, public services or social welfare; all measures point towards a drop in living standards that has been hard felt. Recent data from the CSO quantified the average decrease in income for households since 2008 at 14%; of course it has been much more difficult for households on mid-to-low incomes to absorb this decrease.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderGovernment SpendingIncomeMacroeconomicsTaxation

Three charts to bear in mind

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

Today's UK GDP figures showed continuing growth of 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014. Growth was mainly due to the UK's large service sector but there was also welcome if not belated growth in manufacturing. Year on year growth is now calculated to be averaging at about 3%, well above most other developed economies. While growth is welcome, if the experience of the last number of years has taught us anything it is that we should question good news as much as we do bad news.
There are several worrying trends within the UK economy at the moment. Firstly there has been no recovery in business investment, a key driver of sustainable growth. Despite many commentators citing balanced growth, as the chart below shows business investment shows no sign of driving the recovery.

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Permanent link | Categories: MacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland

A Budget for the few

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

Budget 2014 announced some interesting measures for pensioners and savers but overall the economic strategy remains as it was. Government fiscal policy remains committed to reductions in government expenditure extending to the end of the decade despite serious concerns over the sustainability of the current 'recovery'.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestmentMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland TaxationWages

Record current account surplus shows space for wage increases

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

The latest GDP figures are disappointing (showing a contraction in 2013 of 0.3% due to both the 'patent cliff' and a stagnant domestic economy). However the current account surplus has reached a record high of 6.6% of GDP. For comparison, in 2012 Germany had a surplus of 7% and the Netherlands had the highest surplus of 7.7%.

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Permanent link | Categories: MacroeconomicsWages

Keeping an eye on earnings and prices

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Micheál Collins

The past six years have been very challenging with a succession of harsh budgets, pay cuts, tax increases and price hikes faced by all households. For those impacted most, unemployment and emigration have hit home. For others, the challenge to make ends meet has grown harder and harder.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeMacroeconomicsWages

NERI Seminar: The Impact on National Income of the Patent-Cliff

Posted on February 19, 2014

Today's NERI seminar in the INTO Learning Centre focussed on the impact of the patent cliff on economic and fiscal activity In Ireland. Shane Enright and Mary Dalton gave a detailed overview of their recent paper on the subject. Mary and Shane both work in the Department of Finance. Previously, Mary worked in Forfás and completed a M. Sc. in Economic Policy Studies in Trinity. Shane is currently involved in producing economic forecasts for the Department, among other areas of work.


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Permanent link | Categories: Macroeconomics

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