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.
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.”