The ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) is the government’s economic advisor. They predict that the Irish economy will grow by just 1.6% (GNP) this year. This is the lowest rate of growth since 1988.
This slower rate of growth is due to a reduction in the number of houses being built and the appreciation of the Euro.
Other key findings from their Spring 2008 report are:
- As a result of the slow pace of growth in 2008, we now expect no employment growth in 2008. We expect the unemployment rate to reach 6 percent and the rate of net inward migration to slow to 20,000.
- As regards the public finances, our estimates suggest that the Exchequer deficit will top €5 billion in 2008.
- For 2009, we expect a modest recovery and foresee GNP growth of 3 percent. The biggest single difference between 2008 and 2009 is expected to be the rate at which house building slows. By 2009, much of the slowdown will have been experienced and house-building will be closer to its long-run sustainable level.
- The public finances are expected to deteriorate further in 2009. We foresee the Exchequer deficit rising above €7 billion.