John FitzGerald: What is actually behind Ireland's economic growth?

There is still work to be done in separating out multinationals from the rest of the economy

Facebook in Dublin. Most of the foreign multinationals in Ireland today are primarily here because of the availability of the skilled labour they need. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Facebook in Dublin. Most of the foreign multinationals in Ireland today are primarily here because of the availability of the skilled labour they need. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Problems with the data on Irish economic performance and growth, distorted as they are by foreign multinational activity, has been a reoccurring theme of this column. However, some progress is being made, and last week the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published important data that help improve our understanding.

New data on employment in the multinational sector and the rest of the economy provide an essential ingredient to disentangle real economic activity from essentially paper transactions.

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