It’s Official, we are in a recession: Irish recession 2008

recession irelandI had said back in January that we were on the cusp of a recession, that this would have started out in Q1 and only be realised further down the line. I was wrong, my estimates flawed by a few weeks. Having taken it in the neck from many colleagues I am now partially smug, but more so disappointed because to be honest it means that all the talk of ‘it might happen’ is no longer considered doom and gloom, instead it is fact.

This news is already being reported as far away as New Zealand! How did they get this story the day before we did? Something to do with the international date line I assume, the CSO (Central Statistics Office) released this information today and we had two quarters of negative GDP meaning that we are officially in a recession. How does it feel to ‘officially’ be there? Well, on one hand we have already done the hard bit, that is the part where you go into the recession, now we just have to find a way back out (not easy either!).

What is the answer? Well, we need to find ways to get out of the hole we are in now. Having said that, we also need to keep it in perspective. Mohammed Ali was one of the greatest boxers ever known, (although my personal favourites are Tyson, Duran, De La Hoya, and Johnny Tapia -in that order) but even he was defeated eventually, because nobody, and that means nobody, stays on top forever. Let us take a look back in time (comments hacked from the Pin)

Irelands Economic Performance

1997 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union & also in the OECD
(source Department of Finance)

graph of recession ireland1998 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union & also in the OECD
(source Department of Finance)

1999 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union & also in the OECD
(source Department of Finance)

2000 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union
(source Economist Intelligence Unit)

2001 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union
(source Economist Intelligence Unit)

2002 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union
(source Economist Intelligence Unit)

2003 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union
(source ECB)

2004 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the European Union
(source ECB)

2005 – Ireland: Fastest growing economy in the Eurozone & also in the OECD
Also the best place in the world on the Quality of Life Index
(source OECD and the Economist)

fastforward

2008 – Ireland: First country in the Eurozone to slip into a recession.

got bananas?All champions take a fall eventually. That doesn’t mean it feels good when it happens, I would be much more happy hearing it was happening in Asia or something, but it’s not, it’s here and now we have to fix it. The downside is that there are an additional 45,000 people on the live register this year, the ‘R’ word has arrived backed by honest statistics. Recession by definition is two or more quarters of stagnant or reducing GDP.

Something we will endevour to do on this blog is watch these statistics and also what is happening to remedy the situation. Today saw protest outside the Dail against property bail outs in the upcoming emergency budget of 2008. We just hope that our leaders have the strength of character and conviction to make some of the tough choices that will have to be made in a time like this. If not…Well, if not then I hope you like the taste of bananas because there will truly be monkeys at the helm.

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