Irish Economy 2013: The Central Bank said today
that its expects weak growth this year with a continuation of the gradual
recovery in the overall level of economic activity, though at a slightly slower
pace than previously expected.
In its Q4 2013 bulletin [pdf], the Bank says its
latest forecasts for GDP (gross domestic product) growth for 2013 and 2014 are
marginally lower than those published in the last bulletin. GDP growth of 0.5%
is now projected for this year, with growth of 2.0% forecast for 2014,
representing a downward revision of 0.2 and 0.1%, respectively, to the previous
forecasts for 2013 and 2014. The forecast for GNP (gross national product),
mainly excluding the profits of the multinational sectors has also been revised
down in a similar fashion and is now projected to grow by 0.1% this year, and by
1.2% next year.
On the forthcoming budget, the Central Bank said
in respect of the pre-planned €3.1bn adjustment in spending and taxes that
"there should be no easing off in adjustment. Any scaling back of the planned
fiscal adjustment runs the risk of starting to unwind the positive effects of
the considerable consolidation effort to date, amounting to around €28 billion,
for the sake of a relatively small short-term fiscal easing."
The bulletin says:
2012, developments in services trade, particularly the continued strong export
growth seen since 2010, led to the emergence of a surplus in the services trade
balance. This trend has continued in 2013, with the surplus rising, on an annual
basis, from €3.2bn at end-2012 to €3.8 billion by mid-2013. On the merchandise
side, the trade balance narrowed marginally in 2012 as the reduction in goods
exports was largely offset by a similar decline in imports."
However, thsi surplus results from tax-related
revenue diversions by Google and Microsoft.
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US company profits per Irish employee at $970,000; Tax paid in
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