Thursday, August 9, 2012

9/8/2012: Rip-off Ireland roars again in July

Latest consumer price indices are out for Ireland. Headline number for annual comparatives is moderate inflation at 2.0% in HICP metric and 1.6% on CPI metric. M/m we have deflation.

Alas, the headlines do not tell the whole story. Much is revealed in the following three charts which, in summary, show that most of inflation, including double-digit rampant inflation, is concentrated in state-controlled or state-set prices (marked in red).

You can see that even when it comes to energy, state-controlled prices (e.g. electricity and natural gas) are ahead of inflation driven by virtually identical underlying oil and gas prices (other hydrocarbons-linked fuels).

The above, of course is consistent with the State policies that have prioritized extraction of rents from the private economy in order to close fiscal gap. The State is doing this even though Irish Government is aware that we face a deleveraging crisis among our households and companies. In other words, prioritization of the policy is clear - skin consumers to save the Exchequer and to hell with households barely capable of making ends meet.

Don't think that this is not a prescription for an economic disaster. Killing off private economy to sustain public sector's lack of real reforms as well as to sustain exceptionally costly measures to underwrite Irish financial sector meltdown is not a good thing to do. But, hey, 'international investors' seem to approve.
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