One More Thing: Green shoots for the really desperate

News of three consecutive quarters of negative growth, planting us firmly back in recession, came yesterday just as the rain began to fall on Government Buildings where the CSO was holding its quarterly briefing.

A 0.6 per cent contraction in GDP was greater than most had expected and, coming as it did in the week of the Anglo tapes revelations, it won’t help to improve the mood of the average family or loosen their purse strings.

Those who are particularly desperate (and we really mean desperate) for the solace of green shoots may have chosen yesterday to look across the water to the CSO's UK statistical cousin, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which confirmed that last year's UK's double-dip recession wasn't a double-dip recession after all.

The revelation came as the ONS revised a 0.1 per cent quarterly contraction from last year up to flat growth (or no growth, to be accurate).


And so, with one bound, they were free, ignoring the fact that further revisions meant the downturn of 2008 and 2009 was actually deeper than judged at the time.

To put this in the Irish context, yesterday’s 0.6 per cent decline was too hefty to dismiss. The 0.1 per cent fall recorded in the previous quarter could be fairer game for revision however, maybe, when considered in a certain light . . . We did say we were desperate.