Ireland’s economy is “starting to fire on all cylinders”, but the scars of the crisis are still visible in high unemployment, widespread mortgage arrears and house prices 38% below their peak, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund.
In its annual assessment of the Irish economy, known as an Article IV, the IMF charts the country’s successful emergence from the deep recession of 2008 and 2009. Irish economic growth is expected to be a healthy 3.5% in 2015, slowing to 3% next year, much of it led by exports.
“Ireland’s recovery is off to a good start in 2013–14, with some of the adverse legacies from the crisis beginning to heal,” the IMF finds.
Unemployment has fallen from a peak of 15% to 10%, but remains well above the pre-crisis level of 4.5%. House prices have bounced back, rising at 16% a year, as fast as during the boom, but they are still 38% below the dizzy heights of 2008.
After more than five years of spending cuts, the deficit on public finances should hit 3% of GDP in 2015, the IMF predicts, which would allow the country to leave the EU’s “excessive deficit procedure”.
While Dublin was subject to the strictures of the “troika” of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, which oversaw its €67.5bn bailout loan, its creditors were often accused of driving it into austerity.
via The Guardian