How the world reacted to GDP figures: 'a work of Irish fiction'

International circles express bafflement at CSO figures on economy, branding Republic a 'tax haven'

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the figures show the economy continues to grow

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the figures show the economy continues to grow

 

The Financial Times: "The Irish have written some notable works of fiction — James Joyce and Flann O’Brien produced imperishable classics. Now there is a new addition to the national oeuvre — the official narrative of the country’s economy.

"According to data released on Tuesday, it grew by 26.3 per cent last year. That is the highest level of growth for decades and far outstrips the original estimate of Irish economic activity last year.

"A growth rate of more than 26 per cent is nearly three times the highest level recorded during Ireland’s Celtic Tiger boom years in the early 2000s."

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman: "Leprechaun economics."

New York Times: "Politicians, lawmakers and officials have derided ‘inversion deals’ which allow an American company to move its headquarters overseas to cut its tax bills. In Ireland, they are celebrating them.

"While the Irish economy has been on the upswing since the country repaid its bailout, Ireland’s gross domestic product is artificially inflated by those inversion deals and other sleights of finance."

Bloomberg: "No Western country has posted such a rate of expansion in this century, though small but oil-rich Azerbaijan grew 34.5 percent in 2006, when oil prices rocketed.

"Unfortunately, Ireland’s freak growth has less tangible causes. It is a result of tax shenanigans and a clear indication that GDP increases shouldn’t be considered the ultimate measure of policy success."

Huffington Post: "Want to grow your economy? Turn your country into a tax haven."

Davy: "Clearly, the standard European national accounting methodology is not fit for purpose as an indicator of economic growth in an economy like Ireland at present." 

Economist Jim Power: "I’m not going to stand up and say the economy grew by 26 percent. It’s meaningless. We would be laughing if these numbers came out of China."

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney: "Yesterday’s Irish GDP revision damages confidence in economics. Also fuels anti-expert, fact free public discourse!"

Wall Street Journal: "Some Brexit supporters see the European Union as an intolerable drag on growth. Tell that to Ireland, which on Tuesday revised 2015 gross domestic product growth up from an already remarkable 7.8% to an absolutely staggering 26.3%.

"Of course, investors shouldn’t take that number at face value. Ireland has always faced problems in measuring its economy, due to its openness and the big role played by multinational corporations."

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