EAMON QUINN: Seamus Coffey: Cork growth is picking up, investment needed

The economy of Cork and the South West is not growing as fast as Dublin, “but is growing nonetheless”, economist Seamus Coffey has told a business gathering.

Citing increased traffic flow in the city, the UCC economist and member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, warned however about a widening gap in infrastructure investment.

“What we have not done well in this country is to keep pace by investing in infrastructure, and not just in roads, but in water and education, in Cork, because of the growing population,” he told a PwC business conference.

The value of home transactions in Cork has increased to €800 million in the first nine months this year from €350m in the same period in 2013, he said.

“What we have not done well in this country is to keep pace by investing in infrastructure, and not just in roads, but in water and education, in Cork, because of the growing population,” he told a PwC business conference.

The value of home transactions in Cork has increased to €800 million in the first nine months this year from €350m in the same period in 2013, he said.

On the potential threats to Irish economic prosperity presented by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, who has pledged to slash US corporate tax rates, Mr Coffey said keeping control over the public finances would help insulate the country from such risks.

Anthony Reidy, partner and assurance leader at PwC in Cork, said Brexit and the US election had brought uncertainty, given the high concentration of multinationals in the Cork area.

“US companies may opt to have more of their operations in the US. But there are other fundamentals which are important to them as well, such as the availability of talent and the proximity to customers,” he said.

Mr Trump’s election may hasten UK cut in corporate tax rates, but Ireland has competed in the past, he said.


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