Brian Lenihans 2nd Quarter 2009 figures (and the good news is…)

Minister for Finance statement on the Central Statistics Office’s National Accounts figures for the second quarter of 2009

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., today (24th September 2009) noted the publication of the Central Statistics Office’s National Accounts figures for the second quarter of 2009.  In noting the release, the Minister stated:

“These economic figures are in line with the projections set out in the supplementary budget at the start of last April.  While still negative, the figures are a relative improvement on those recorded in the first quarter.  The supplementary budget forecasted that Gross Domestic Product would contract by 7¾% this year.

The sharp declines in housing output and in personal spending are the main reasons for the contraction in the first two quarters of 2009.  A positive that can be taken from the data is that the rate of export decline is very small in comparison to many other export-oriented economies.”

The Minister noted that over the summer months, a consensus appears to have emerged that the pace of deterioration has begun to slow:

“Internationally, tentative signs of a recovery have emerged in many of our major trading partners.  While this is encouraging, it is fair to say that one-off factors, including various fiscal measures, have played a role.  A key uncertainty is the extent to which private sector demand will be able to take over the baton once fiscal stimulus is withdrawn – as it must eventually be – in many regions.”

The Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring the Irish economy is in a position to benefit from the recovery in the global economy:

“We as a people have faced and overcome bigger challenges than what we face now.  The measures being taken by the Government to maintain the public finances on a sustainable path and to resolve the banking are key ingredients towards returning the economy to positive growth.  Through our financial sector policies, the Government is determined to channel credit to the productive sector of the economy, in order to support activity and protect jobs.”