IBEC Says Irish GDP To Grow By 1% in 2012

08 May 2012 16:30 - Crage Campbell

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IBEC Says Irish GDP To Grow By 1% in 2012

IBEC, the main Irish business lobbying group, in its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook said that the Irish economy will grow again this year, despite the slowdown in activity with its main trading partners. It predicts 1% GDP growth boosted by ‘strong export performance.’ It also said plant and machinery investment is set to rise by 10%.

IBEC's chief economist Fergal O’Brien, does however did warn that the domestic economy remains fragile, and reduced incomes and poor confidence will mean consumer spending will fall by a further 2% this year. Mr O’Brien says that exporters will need to investment in plant and machinery this year as the strong growth in sales of goods and services overseas has left them with limited spare capacity. In terms of employment Mr O’Brien forecasts that the numbers at work will fall by 0.2% this year as a result of cuts in the public sector and banking but that employment should grow by a modest 0.6% in 2013. Mr O’Brien also warned that the result of the fiscal treaty referendum later this month will have a direct impact on the economy. He said, “A Yes vote is crucial to our future economic prospects. The treaty will provide a better set of rules for the public finances and help ensure that Ireland remains an attractive location for investment. Crucially, from a business perspective, it will make it easier for Irish corporates to raise funds in international debt markets.”

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