Why Irish households are not, after all, among the best off in the EU

Smart Money: Headline data shows we are better off than our neighbours – but it is wrong

When  the impact of prices is considered, Irish households no longer belong to the EU rich club.

When the impact of prices is considered, Irish households no longer belong to the EU rich club.

Incomes have risen steadily in Ireland in recent years – before Covid-19 hit – with some data showing Ireland as one of the EU’s richest countries. But are we really that well off? We know that distortions caused by multinationals are one of the factors affecting the data. But there are other factors too – and data developed in recent years, measuring how much people spend on goods and services, gives a different picture. Here is why.

1. GDP: the flawed indicator

Former central bank governor Patrick Honohan has said that Irish GDP data is “worse than useless.”

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.