Depressing Thoughts

Over a year ago, I wrote about reluctance the use of the dreaded R word when discussing the Irish economy: Recession.

That was then, this is now.

Recession is yesterday’s news. Today’s news is NAMA, bank bailouts, Liam Carroll, and John O’Donoghue’s expenses.

But at least we’re not in a recession any more.

It’s not often the Economist magazine bothers with Ireland. The truth is, even when in full boom, an economy of four million people and change just didn’t register on it’s radar that often, so we rarely merited more than a paragraph or two in an overview of the European Union of the eurozone.

Last week though, the Economist Intelligence Unit had a look at the tensions in the Irish government, and what it might mean for the Lisbon treaty, budget debates, and the likelihood of a general election.

And almost casually, they said this: ‘The economy is now in a technical depression (defined as a contraction in economic output of 10% or more from peak to trough).’

Now I’m open to correction, but as far as I remember, no Irish politician (certainly no government politician) has used the word depression to describe the state of the nation.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.