The Irish economy is thriving but if you’re not feeling it – here’s why

Smart Money: How is inflation affecting your standard of living – and what will it mean for how you vote?

The feelgood factor from this period of economic growth is not evenly spread. Photograph: Getty

The feelgood factor from this period of economic growth is not evenly spread. Photograph: Getty

One of the stories of the economic recovery has been that consumer prices have remained almost flat. On average. The qualification is vital. The “basket” of goods and services used to measure price rises is, of necessity, an average. The fact that it has increased by only 1 per cent over the past year, and wages on average have risen by some 3 per cent, means that people in work are better off. On average. And so the election takes place as a rising economy lifts many boats and this is a vital backdrop to the debates on tax, spending and services.

But the average hides enormous variations. And those who spend a significant portion of their incomes on housing – especially rent – and services such as childcare and education, have seen steeper price increases in recent years. And so the squeezed middle – younger families renting or with big, newly minted mortgages – is a reality.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.