herald

Monday 11 December 2017

ECONOMY

Recession here is officially over

Ireland's economy will have grown throughout last year for the first time since 2007, economists have predicted.

But despite the technical emergence from recession, it will not feel like it for most people as joblessness and emigration continue to haunt the country.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) think tank said in its quarterly forecast that the economy would have grown by 0.9pc last year.

This is less than half of what was originally predicted (2.2pc) but it will be the first time the economy has grown on an annual basis for three years.

Official figures are expected next month.

The think tank has forecast a similarly slight growth rate for the rest of this year -- also 0.9pc.

While it believes things will pick up next year, to 2.3pc, the growth is down to improving exports rather than increased spending on the high street.

People are expected to remain cautious while the outlook in Europe is uncertain.

David Duffy, research officer at the ESRI, said spending in the shops and on services should remain low while savings will stay at high levels.

The think tank believes average unemployment will drop from 300,000 last year to 280,000 next year but a lot of this will be down to the continued exodus of people looking for a better life abroad.

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