Blog

Browse the latest commentary from our blog.

Are we there yet?

graph
By any measure, we are a decade into the recovery that followed the great financial crash. Every month there is a release of statistics pertaining to economic output, the labour market or exports. Every month we tend to look at these numbers over the last 10 years and ask ourselves the question -...

Three big ideas to transform Ireland

Ideas drive behaviour. In societies the dominant ideas reflect many competing interests and value systems. What values guide economic activity and public policy in Ireland today? In An Ireland Worth Working For – Towards a new democratic programme, I propose three ‘big ideas’ to guide policy...

Dispelling some illusions

‘It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter.’ So reads the revised Democratic Programme of January 1919...

Brexit - an example of radical agnosis

London
Not knowing how or when or what is part of the human condition. The Brexit process has reminded us of this especially as ‘deadlines’ and ‘agreements’ are pushed out and out. If we have learned one thing through the process it is that nothing is agreed until all is agreed and that all or most of...

The New Normal?

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On the surface, the most recent release of labour market figures paints a very positive picture for Northern Ireland. Unemployment is low and employment is at an all-time high. Economic inactivity remains a serious structural problem for Northern Ireland, however the problem does appear to be slowly...

Industrial Stategy - It's all in the game

football
Foreign Direct Investment is something we talk a lot about in Northern Ireland. In terms of the industrial development we actually talk about little else. Getting big multinational firms to invest in Northern Ireland is seen as one of the key avenues to lifting our growth rate and becoming a...

Future positive

Let me begin this year with a confession. Had the NERI been in existence 11 years ago in January 2008 we might have anticipated an economic slow down rather than the biggest global economic crash since the 1920s. Economists and others, naturally, extrapolate from various trends over the preceding...