Focus Economics predicts that Irish GDP will grow by 3.8% in 2019 and by a further 3.1% in 2020. This is despite economic sentiment being at a two-year low, which is mainly caused by Brexit uncertainty. This Brexit uncertainty has caused consumer confidence to remain in negative territory.
Inflation is expected to run at 1.1% in 2019 and 1.4% in 2020. Industrial production is predicted to grow by 3.8% in 2019 and by a further 2.8% in 2020. Again, due to Brexit uncertainty, consumers were more confident about employment and their personal financial situation 12 months previously. Despite this, private consumption is expected to expand by 2.7% in 2019 and by a further 2.5% in 2020. Also, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remains positive and has been positive for the past five years, which is phenomenal.
Despite Brexit, the Irish unemployment rate remains very low, at 5.7%, which is the lowest rate since April 2008. The Irish economy has had a phenomenal recovery when one considers that unemployment hit 16% at the height of the recession in 2012.
With the current odds of the UK leaving the EU with no Brexit deal before April 1st at 5/1 and the prospect of a second Brexit referendum vote with a remain outcome shortened to 11/5, let’s hope the bookies, who are renowned for rarely getting it wrong are correct again on this occasion as this could be extremely good news for the Irish economy’s growth prospects.