On Tuesday Feb 20th, the Central Statistics Office reported that Ireland's exports in 2006, 92% of which were made by foreign owned firms, had increased by 2% in value in 2006, compared with a 13.7% rise in German exports.
"This is a very good performance by Irish exporters in a difficult trading environment caused by the continuing global economic slowdown and rising oil prices," Junior Minister for Commerce said in response.
It is an interesting situation that an economic slowdown that is seen in the world economy, but is contrary to reality, while there is little chance a real one would be called, if it was closer to home.
When exports by "Irish exporters," are overwhelmingly made by American-owned firms, the economic challenges can easily be brushed under the carpet.
Last month, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Rodrigo de Rato said:
After four consecutive years of strong growth, what we expect is that global growth will remain solid in 2007, approaching 5 percent. This represents certainly a very significant expansion of the global economy and probably the longest — if not the longest, one of the longest — sustained periods of growth in the post-Bretton Woods era, that is, after the Second World War. In that respect, while the U.S. economy has slowed down in large part because of the continued weaker housing market, what I can say now is that a soft landing seems more sure as lower energy prices have supported employment growth and consumption. Also, we see the decrease in the housing market to be bottoming out. Report.
Bretton Woods refers to the monetary arrangements for the world economy that were agreed in the US State of New Hampshire in 1944.
Senior European economists warn that Irish economy is at risk of serious slowdown