Growth treble eurozone average - Celebrate but with caution

It is an indication of how terribly destructive the last recession was that when economic indicators — what might be called the “Boomier and Boomier Index” — performs well it provokes as much apprehension as it does celebration.

Yesterday, the Central Statistics Office recorded that our economy, surely a grandchild of the eviscerated Celtic Tiger, grew by 6.7% last year, more than three times the eurozone average. 

Those figures, even in a very good Cheltenham week for the Irish, will suggest to many people bearing the scars of the last implosion that it is as much time to batten down the hatches as it is time to open the champagne. How sad that achievement must be seen through the prism of caution made essential by earlier recklessness.

Another set of figures published yesterday, this time from MyHome.ie, that show that the number of house sales in Dublin rose by 5.9% in 2018, with the value of transactions for the year was estimated at €8.7bn, a 17.7% increase on 2017 suggests that Celtic Tiger II, or at least its first cousin, is stalking the land. 

Though an achievement many countries would envy, these climbing graphs are fraught with risk, especially as the election posters are with the printers. Not so long ago Donald Tusk warned Brexiteers there was a place in hell for those who had not planned the divorce properly. Let us hope he left some space for those politicians who might use these very positive figures to hold an election auction.

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