|Ministers Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin at a previous bailout review press conference, Government Buildings, April 2012.|
Irish Economy: The Troika bailout staff teams
from the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), and
International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed their eighth review of the
government’s economic programme and also met with a variety of stakeholder
groups, over the past two weeks. In
a statement the Troika said: "Policy implementation remains steadfast despite
the challenging external environment, helping Ireland to start to regain market
The group added
that "the authorities are committed to the 2013 deficit ceiling of 7.5% of GDP
(gross domestic product). Banks remain well-capitalised and downsizing has
progressed well, yet further efforts are needed to address their profitability
and asset quality challenges. In line with the euro area summit conclusions of
29 June, EC/ECB/IMF teams continued to discuss with the authorities possible
technical solutions to improve the sustainability of the well-performing
Real GDP growth has slowed to a projected rate of
½ percent in 2012. Domestic demand and employment continue to decline owing to
ongoing household balance sheet repair, the weak labour market, and low lending
to households and SMEs.
"Prospects for growth in 2013 are for modest pick
up to just over 1 percent as domestic demand declines moderately, although weak
trading partner growth may continue to dampen net exports despite Irish
competitiveness gains," the Troika said.
“I am very confident that we will exit the programme in all circumstances,”
said Michael Noonan, minister for finance, at a press briefing.
“If we get a deal on the [bank debt] we will access money [on international
bond markets] at a much lower interest rate. That is the variable.”
Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure
and reform, said he was
confident Ireland would be the first programme country to exit successfully.
“We are the most successful programme country. We have hit all the targets,”
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