Irish economy expected to grow by almost 9% this year - Central Bank

Up to 167,000 jobs may be created if the economy recovers following the pandemic.
Irish economy expected to grow by almost 9% this year - Central Bank

Muireann Duffy

An estimated 167,000 new jobs could be created if the Irish economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and consumer spending returns to normal over the next two years, the Central Bank has predicted.

As reported by The Irish Times, the Central Bank's latest quarterly bulletin states the economy is expected to grow by 8.7 per cent in 2022 and 5 per cent in 2023 as consumers make use of savings accumulated during the pandemic.

However, inflation linked to rising energy costs is here to stay in the short-term, which the regulator says will lead to "generalised cost of living increases".

The economic growth over the coming years will lead to a faster reduction in unemployment than previously expected, with the Central Bank anticipating a return to full employment by 2024.

This, in turn, will lead to high income tax receipts for the Government, improving public finances.

Despite fears over the impact the Omicron variant could have on the economy, the Central Bank's director of economics and statistics, Mark Cassidy said the economy overall is "proving resilient".

"With strong growth in employment and activity, the economy is already back to its pre-pandemic level, and we expect will reach its potential level of activity over our forecast horizon to 2024," he added.

Although the overall outlook is positive, Mr Cassidy warned the figures do not reflect the impact Covid has had on some sectors, with areas such as hospitality and the arts likely to take longer to recover.

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