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Why the Celtic Tiger is roaring again

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 01:35

Ireland's economy grew by 7.8 percent last year, making it the fastest growing economy in the Europe Union for the second successive year. But as Axel Threlfall reports there are worries about overheating in some sectors, suggesting ECB policy is not suited to all euro zone states.

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Is this the new China? Dublin might not have any skyscrapers. After a deadlocked election, Ireland doesn't even have a government. But the country has growth figures that are the envy of the world - even outpacing the Asian giant. The latest data putting economic expansion at 7.8 percent. But Reuters Dublin correspondent Padraig Halpin says some caution is warranted: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS DUBLIN CORRESPONDENT, PADRAIG HALPIN, SAYING: "There are some health warnings that come with the Irish GDP figures. One reason that it was boosted last year was the currency rates favoured Irish exporters, which is a big part of the economy. But also in Ireland we have a big cluster of multinational companies and they tend to distort the GDP figures." Even so, strip out those distortions and Irish growth still comes in at five percent or more. Not quite China, but many times faster than the rest of the euro zone. All this just 3 years since the country exited its EU bailout. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, CEBR, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "It did go through a very slow base for a while and of course it's started again from a rather low base and of course the percentage increases we're seeing, we have to bear in mind they come from that but it seems to be pretty solid and a lot of it will depend in the future what happens with the rest of the world economy of course." Critics say the new boom doesn't go much beyond Dublin. But soaring house prices in the capital remind some of the Ireland's pre-crash prosperity. Back then it was dubbed the Celtic tiger. After rising from the economic ashes, this time they're calling it the Celtic phoenix.

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Why the Celtic Tiger is roaring again

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 01:35