Housing data reveals return of ‘leprechaun economics’

‘Let CSO count housing completions – statistics we have now are dangerously useless’

It seems implausible that 4,000 units have been completed over the past 12 months and now remain idle. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

It seems implausible that 4,000 units have been completed over the past 12 months and now remain idle. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Ireland has managed to get itself a reputation for producing statistics of questionable quality, relevance and accuracy in recent years. In the economic sphere, this view has stemmed from the inflated GDP data in 2015 and the subsequent declaration by the Nobel prize-winning US economist Paul Krugman that the data should be described as “leprechaun economics”.

Unfortunately, the moniker appears to have stuck. The criticisms are highly unfair and without merit on this issue. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) was simply applying agreed international conventions.

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