Ireland is officially out of its economic recession. Well, that is the somewhat tendentious claim made by the majority of the Irish news media over the last 48 hours in one of the more bizarre PR spins we’ve seen in recent times. The reports are based upon a statement from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) detailing a seasonally adjusted +0.4% rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2013 compared with the first quarter. On the back of this economic crumb newspaper, radio and television reports are proclaiming a technical end to the recession that began in 2008 (though technically we are actually in a depression).
Except here’s the problem. The truer and more accurate guide to Ireland’s economic performance is the Gross National Product (GNP) which for the same period showed an adjusted -0.4% fall. The facts of the Irish economy are obvious enough and defy any amount of political and media-friendly spin: flatlining and but for emigration and “imaginative” government book-keeping damn near terminal.