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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week December 22, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

First up, I wonder has this story appearing in their paper ruined half the columnists’ Christmas. That would be a shame. Then again, the very headline of this one is likely to restore their equilibrium.

Feudian slip of the year goes to Marc Coleman, who lavishes praise on the coalition’s strategy paper for the next 7 years, which is apparently set to bring back prosperity. Eventually.

Like wise men around a crib, government ministers have been waiting for last week’s GDP numbers. And for ESRI end-year forecasts also released last week. And both have brought tidings of joy. At 2.7 per cent for GNP and GDP, the ESRI’s forecast for growth next year is even better than the more optimistic scenario in the Government’s strategy document. Under it, we could reach full unemployment by 2020 or before.

It’s worth highlighting other parts of his column but. When he is saying how great things are right now, we get the following

But the news last week that the economy grew handsomely in the third quarter doesn’t fit the misery narrative. In 1.5 per cent for GDP and 1.6 per cent for GNP, the economy is now recovering.

However, when it comes to the future, what was handsome is now less than modest.

In fact, on modest assumptions — 2 per cent [growth] next year and 3.1 per cent on average out to 2020 — unemployment could fall to 8.1 per cent by the end of the decade. Under slightly better assumptions — 2.3 per cent growth next year and 3.2 per cent on average out to 2020 — it falls to 5.9 per cent. That is within shouting distance of full employment.

Does no-one proof-read this stuff, or is it some sort of Joycean stream-of-consciousness approach? It would explain a lot about the paper as a whole.

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1. brendan ryan - December 22, 2013

Or it simply illustrates the sloppy thinking of most Irish economists!!@

2. Ciaran - December 22, 2013

Only in the deepest recesses of the right-wing imagination could 5.9% be considered ‘full employment’. To give that figure (never mind 8% or so!) that label is outright propaganda.

Jim Monaghan - December 22, 2013

To be fair there is a figure of about 3% which is explained by normal turnover in jobs etc.On a broader note after every recession (depression in this case) the goalposts change. New jobs will need new and higher skills and will be far more precarious. Holiday entitlement has gone down and the hours per week up.
Brave new world, ha

Ciaran - December 22, 2013


I believe what you’re describing there was termed ‘frictional unemployment’, and yes, it was generally accepted as being 2-3%. But it can never be anything more than that, and certainly not three times that figure. Particularly, as you point out, in an environment where working conditions are being made more precarious.

3. CL - December 22, 2013

Spuriously precise figures for rates of growth and rates of unemployment several years hence are not expressions of economic reality, but rather proof of the ignorance of those who give credence to such exercises.

4. ejh - December 23, 2013

Like wise men around a crib, government ministers have been waiting


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