Ireland has had it’s economic problems in past years, much of it documented in these pages. However Ireland’s recovery still continues and is showing the lead for other debt laden Eurozone countries to follow. It’s a template which perhaps countries like Greece, Spain and Italy should look to follow. For the fourth year the small republic has produced the highest growth rates of an country in the Eurozone and it looks likely to continue with some forecasts suggesting that 2017 will produce a growth percentage of nearly 3.5%.
Ireland instigated some pretty tough measure to pull itself out of the previous crisis and has been rewarded with rises in foreign investment and soaring levels of employment. This has already filtered in to the general economy with strong retailing figures supporting the recovery.
Some economists are even predicting higher growth figures with mentions of 4% becoming more common. Yet there is a huge black economic cloud circling which will restrict this growth and nobody quite knows by how much.
Of course, it’s Britain’s decision to leave the EU and as by far Ireland’s biggest trading partner the impact is bound to be large. The general consensus is that the impact of Brexit will initially be fairly negative even to the extent that it is bound to cause some disruption and uncertainty. However no-one is quite sure when this will happen and what the impact will be on the irish economy.
No other Eurozone member will be impacted as much as Ireland however and most economists are unclear of what the long term impacts will be. The agricultural sector is the most important sector likely to be affected as the country’s farmers send over half their exports to the UK. It is a large, convenient and essential market which is not easily replaced if it ends up falling into a mass of tariffs and controls.
Still much of this is pretty much out of the Irish government’s control and a a strong economy at least allows it the maximum possibilities or riding out any economic impact when the UK leaves. As such Irish businessmen and politicians will be pleased that they can watch BBC in Ireland using a VPN to keep up with the developments. It is likely that the UK government will also seek to restrict any changes made in the two countries trading agreements as well, the UK is likely to need a friend in Europe and difficulties with borders will only cause problems for both countries.