Thursday, October 16, 2014

16/10/2014: Ireland's Real Recovery Metrics: Try Avoiding that Over-Confidence Trap


So 7 years into the crisis, and Ireland is 'securing' the 'robust recovery' according to the Government. Securing? Well, here's the chart based on IMF latest projections for real GDP growth in 2014 (never mind, GDP is not that great metric for Ireland, but that's all we have to compare across the economies as of now).  The data is on per-capita basis and the index reflects 100=value of real GDP per capita in the year of pre-crisis peak.

So how is Ireland faring?


Ah, as of 2014, with 'robust recovery' being 'secured' we are the third worst-off economy in the Euro area, with GDP per capita in real terms down 11.9 percent on pre-crisis peak and 7 years (longer-tail of the range) duration of the crisis. Two economies worse off than our 'robustly recovering' one are: Greece and Cyprus. And of these, only Greece is as long into the crisis as Ireland.

But, I hear you say, things are improving in Ireland faster than anywhere else... Shall we take a look?


The rate of improvement is measured by the slope of the line. By this measure, Ireland in 2014 is indeed improving faster than anyone else, except the recovery is close to or on par with Latvia, Slovakia and Malta. But here's a kicker: 2014 rate of improvement in Ireland is similar to the rates of improvement attained in the past during this crisis by:

  • Latvia in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • Finland in 2009 and 2010
  • Malta in 2010, 2013 and 2014
  • Slovakia in 2009, 2010 and 2014
  • Germany in 2010 and 2011
  • Austria in 2011
So our 'unique today' is not as unique as we would like it to be, both today and historically over the crisis period.

Time to be a bit more humble, perhaps? Just to avoid falling into over-confidence fallacy?
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