Responding to today’s CSO figures, Sinn Fein TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the volatility of the figures was very worrying, and that the falls in personal spending and investment do not bode well for recovery.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The key issue here is the volatility of these figures. Today’s figures revise the last quarter’s figures, but despite the headlines, they show a contraction in GDP. This means we have had no real growth in GDP for two quarters now. GNP rises in the second quarter, but behind this headline figure the details show a worrying indicator surrounding import consumption and exports.
“Also of concern in today's figures are the fall in personal spending and investment. The Government's €750 million cut to capital investment in the last budget is obviously taking effect and in real terms that means job losses and emigration. The decline in spending in the economy also points to growing retail and service closures.
“For real recovery we need to start seeing sustained and stable growth figures. We also need to start protecting consumer power and tackling the lack of capital investment. The Government can do two specific things in this regard – protect low and middle income earners in this year’s budget and ensure no cuts are made to capital investment. As it stands they plan to introduce a range of measures, including property tax and a €500 million cut to capital investment, which will do the reverse of what's needed.”