The last couple of days in the media have seen the usual retrospective look back at the year just gone and the forecasting of predictions of the year to come.  Neither have made particularly pleasurable analysis.  2009 was the year that Ireland got its just desserts for the follies of the government, banks and property developers (and it has to be said, the general population who were also caught up in the credit party).  2010 is going to be more of the same, with the situation getting worse before it gets better. 

Rather than summarise various different predictions, I thought I’d highlight one set from outside the mainstream media by economist Ronan Lyons which seems relatively realistic and are focused on 12 established monitoring measures.  His predictions for 2010 are:

  • Number employed, i.e. full-time and part-time (not under-employed): 1.825m (compared to 1.925m in 2009 and 1.875m 2000-2007)
  • Redundancies: 60,000 (compared to 80,000 in 2009 and 20,000 on average, 2000-2007)
  • Net migration: -50,000 (compared to -7,800 in 2009 and +45,000, 2000-2007)
  • Unemployment: 14% (compared to 12% in 2009 and 4.4%, 2000-2007)
  • GDP growth: 0% (compared to -8% in 2009 and an average of 6%, 2000-2007)
  • GNP growth: -2% (compared to -11% in 2009 and an average of 5.4%, 2000-2007)
  • Ratio of GNP per capita in Ireland to EU15: -8.2% (compared to -3.7% in 2009 and 7%, 2000-2007)
  • Consumer price inflation: 1% (compared to -5.5% in 2009 and 4%, 2000-2007)
  • House price inflation: -15% (compared to -15% in 2009 and 9.4%, 2000-2007)
  • Rental inflation: -10% (compared to -16% in 2009 and 4.2%, 2000-2007)
  • House completions: 15,000 (compared to 25,000 in 2009 and 70,000, 2000-2007)
  • Car registrations: 100,000 (compared to 125,000 in 2009 and 170,000, 2000-2007)

From my perspective as a geographer, it would be interesting to consider the variations in these predicted figures for different parts of the country given the state of regional economies and their ability to weather the drivers of the recession.   As we’ve noted on IAN there are significant differences in how the recession is playing out across the state at local and regional scales  (for example, with respect to the live register, public sector pay, house prices and office rents, residential vacancy rates, cross-border shoppingCounty Leitrim).  It looks like 2010 is going to be another year of significant economic and social re-adjustment, accompanied by some difficult political decisions.

Rob Kitchin

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