Archive for the 'Economics' Category

Best of luck in the exams!

Best wishes to our Accounting, Business, Business Studies and Economics students in their State Examinations next week.



Central Bank of Ireland

Central Bank Functions

Useful video explaining the role of the Central Bank of Ireland under Governor Lane.

Inflation Revision-ECB close to its 2% inflation target

EMU Interactive Inflation Graph


Inflation Revision questions  preparation 

1. Causes of Inflation- demand-pull, cost-push, Governmentt induced, imported inflation (trade).

2. Economic affects of rising inflation on the Irish economy – employment, savings, balance of payments, standard of living.

3. Calculation of Simple Index and Composite Price Index.

4. View current rates above.

TK Whitaker

IMG_1310.JPG‘Architect of the Irish economy’ – 10 things you need to know about ‘national treasure’ TK Whitaker

Economics – start preparing for strong macroeconomic questions

Besides the main coursework this year on micro economics it is important to note some of the main events in 2016 that may appear on this years macro questions.

1. BREXIT – Impact on Ireland


  • Trade with Britain / Balance of payments / tariffs (Britain expected to stay in customs union with sector specific deals)
  • Northern relationship-  Good Friday Agreement
  • Demand for Irish agri- business / Irish farming sector employment
  • Lost revenue for Government
  • Immigration for Irish into Britain

2. Homeless crisis/ housing crisis

Homeless Crisis

  • Unaffordable rents- increase in families without homes (rent caps?)
  • Insufficient temporary accommodation
  • Protestors open NAMA owned Apollo House to shelter homeless
  • img_1306

Housing Crisis

  • Housing in urban areas – excess demand
  • Government initiative ‘Help to buy Scheme’ – this will increase demand and prices well in excess of supply
  • Construction employment is starting to grow in Dublin & Cork- 14,088 residential units were built this year. Not enough to meet demand ( Construction Industry Federation)

EU Immigration Crisis

  • Numbers- from June 2015 to November 2016 – 1.3m people have travelled to Europe. 3,740 people died making the crossing across the central Mediterranean. 21.3 m people are refugees (51% children) to date globally mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia.
  • Six wealthiest nations- US, UK, France, Germany, China, Japan host 9% of the refugees, 86p%are hosted in developing nations.
  • Ireland’s actions- Irish Refugee Protection Programme announced a plan to welcome 4,000 Syrians, 750 have arrived.img_1307

Irish Tourism 2016

  • 8.8m tourists visited Ireland in 2016-up 10pc
  • Expected to increase further- uncertainty from value of sterling, international  security, inflated hotel prices in Dublin etc.

Key economic indicators will be covered in class.

Sources: Sunday Business Post Jan 1st, Irish Independent Jan 1st, CSO, Trading Economics.

€1bn beef exports to UK slump-Visible Trade


Beef exports to the UK worth more than €1bn a year are slumping as the unfavourable exchange rate makes it less attractive to British buyers.

Yet Ireland has more beef than ever to sell, the latest figures reveal.

Increased beef supplies come as exports to Ireland’s most important beef market continue to fall in the wake of the Brexit vote. According to figures from the UK’s Revenue and Customs service, during September a total of 14,356 tonnes of beef were imported by the UK from Ireland, a 13pc reduction from the corresponding month in 2015, when 16,499 tonnes of beef were imported.

In 2015, Ireland exported an estimated 500,000 tonnes of beef worth approximately €2.41bn – and half of that went to the UK. Despite the recent slump, Ireland continues to be the biggest source of beef imports for the UK, with 129,739 tonnes imported during 2016.

Imports from Ireland accounted for 75pc of total beef imports from EU countries to the UK during the first nine months of 2016.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK says the fall in Irish imports comes despite lower domestic prices in Ireland on the back of higher production.
While it says average unit prices were still up over 1pc in sterling, it also adds that increased domestic supplies in the UK will have been a strong contributor to the decline in trade levels.

However, according to figures seen by, we could have more beef than ever to sell.

The highest beef kill in 12 years is currently predicted for 2017, while cattle supplies in Ireland could be 120,000 head higher next year, at 1.75m, on the back of increased calvings from Ireland’s expanding dairy sector.


The figures, which were presented by Bord Bia at last week’s Beef Forum, also show that the beef kill in 2016 is now estimated to be close to 1.64 million head, which is up as much as 80,000 on 2015. To date, in 2016 Irish cattle supplies are up 5.1pc or 68,500 head, according to the Bord Bia figures.

IFA president Joe Healy has urged a strong commitment on both sides of the Irish Sea to achieve a positive trading relationship in Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK.

On the beef situation, Mr Healy said that with more than 50pc of our beef exports going to the UK market, the weakness of sterling is a major challenge.

However, the IFA says that exchange rate volatility is not the only determinant of price returns and higher prices are justified and necessary.

“Demand for beef in the UK remains very strong,” IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said.

“We are in the high demand Christmas procurement period, and trade has picked up.

“It is simply not acceptable for processors to return an unviable price to our farmers at this time.

“Prices must be restored to viable levels – factories must demand significantly higher prices from their British retailer customers and pass these increases directly back to farmers

Budget 2017




Budget time

The budget date is set for October 11th 2017. The Government are currently spending €2bn more than what it is taking in, which means the deficit is borrowed. Bridging this gap amounts to €1000 borrowed for each per who works in the country.

This is difficult to sustain and a hard habit to break.


Source  Dan OBrien, Irish Independent 22/9/16.

Intel- International job losses

Computer giant Intel , who have reported a loss in sales of personal computers this year,  announce their restructuring of employment . They plan on reducing jobs by over 12,000. It employs over 5,200 people in Ireland but job losses across Europe have not been specified yet.

Will corporation tax play its part in keeping Intel in Ireland?

Are the skill’s and expertise of our workforce an incentive to save the Irish jobs?


Economics Students-The State and the Irish Economy-Dan O ‘Brien

How has the economy of independent Ireland fared and what role did the State founded in 1922 have in economic performance? During a time of very extensive reflection on the past 100 years, this question has hardly been posed. It is well worth addressing.

Measuring economies, even in today’s world of massive computing power, is very tricky. That is because economies are very complex systems. Measuring them in the distant past is largely guesswork. Think, for instance, of GDP. It is the most commonly used measure of how much an economy is producing and how fast it is growing, but it was not even invented until decades after the state’s founding.

Nor is there much in the way of other hard indicators for the early decades of the Irish state. But of those that exist, they support the commonly held view of a nation that was very poor by today’s standards. They also show that prosperity was a long time coming.
Assessing what happened to the Irish economy in the State’s first decades is probably best done by looking at the number of people at work.
When the first census was taken by the new State in 1926, it showed that 1.22 million people were at work. At the time of the 1951 census, exactly the same numbers were working. Zero growth over a quarter of a century is a pretty dismal record.
It is abundantly clear from this – and other indicators – that efforts to improve agricultural productivity and to industrialise met with only limited success. There is still a great deal of disagreement on why that was, but there is no doubt that the new State came into being at a tough time which made economic development difficult.
Before the new State’s 10th birthday was marked, the Great Depression had taken hold internationally and protectionist policies were becoming the norm, something that suited the first Fianna Fáil government which believed strongly (and wrongly) in self-sufficiency. The Economic War with Britain was triggered soon afterwards. Not long after that, the Second World War broke out. Both conflicts throttled the Irish economy.
It could just about be argued that up to mid-century, Ireland had done relatively well given all the factors that had been militating against economic growth. But that certainly cannot be said of the 1950s.
Europe was then recovering rapidly from the most destructive conflict in its history and the democracies were all opening up to trade. But Ireland stuck with protectionism. The effects were disastrous. The numbers at work plummeted over the course of the 1950s by almost one tenth. We were falling ever further behind the rest of free Europe as it was on the cusp its first ever period of mass prosperity.
By the late 1950s the Irish State as a project was looking like a failure, and that was the case even if one believed that a frugal, spiritual life counted for more than prosperity. Many citizens clearly didn’t share that view and exercised the exit option. So great was the flow of emigrants that Ireland was the only state on Earth to experience a fall in population in the 1950s, according to the data set of economic historian Angus Maddison (whether a weak economy pushed people abroad, or whether emigration drained the economy of the capacity to grow, is a subject this column will return to soon).
Eventually, sense prevailed. Direction was belatedly changed. The opening up of the economy in the 1960s yielded dividends. Most measures of prosperity began to improve and the 120-year period of almost uninterrupted population decline went into reverse from 1961. Joining the then EEC in the 1970s brought new opportunities, and, as the graphic shows, that decade saw the first sustained increase in jobs since independence.
But just as things began looking up, yet another huge self-inflicted blow was delivered. Reckless public spending followed by a sustained failure to bring the State’s finances back from the brink of bankruptcy led to the 1980s being a lost decade. By the census of 1991, fewer people were at work than in 1926 or 1951. That amounted to the worst employment-creation record in the developed world.

But from the mid-1990s to the recent property crash, Ireland went to the other extreme – the Celtic Tiger generated the highest jobs growth of any OECD economy over that period. By all of the many measures that now exist, Ireland surged suddenly to bring itself up to the prosperity levels of our peers. Even when the recent crash and its many painful and lingering legacy effects are taken into account, most of the net gains of the Tiger era have been retained. We are no longer the laggard of North-West Europe.
Again, the debate about what caused the extraordinary lift-off in the 1990s, so clearly illustrated in the accompanying graphic, goes on. All economists agree that many factors were at play, including getting the public finances in order, the benefits of improved education kicking in, greater national competitiveness, the creation of the EU’s single market and many others.

It is my view that entrepreneurialism is the single most important factor – we were poor for so long because we had too few successful companies and we got rich by importing our entrepreneurialism (mostly from America) in the form of foreign direct investment. It can be no coincidence that global flows of such investment increased six-fold over the 1990s, just when the Irish economy blasted off.
The role of foreign companies in the Irish economy – in terms of exports, employment and tax revenues – is without parallel in any other developed economy. In the unimaginable event that they all departed overnight, Ireland would suffer an economic collapse much greater in depth and duration than the property-related one recently suffered. Thankfully, it is almost impossible to conceive circumstances in which such a nightmare might come to pass. It is far more likely that the underlying strengths of the Irish economy will see further investment-attracting success.
The State that was established in 1922 can take credit for this enormous success. The then very unusual route to development of attracting foreign companies has been a State-led process over more than half-a-century. But it must also take a great deal of the blame for the three separate decades of disaster suffered since independence. I can think of no European state that has played as big a role – for ill and for good – in a national economy over the past century.

Irish Independent March 31st 2016


Follow sgcbusiness on Twitter


Email: sgcbusiness [at] stgeraldscollege [dot] com

Irish Blogs
Add to Technorati Favorites
wordpress stat