Some commentators are celebrating our ‘recovery’. Some have even said that we have recovered relatively quickly, after a dramatic fall. Here we go again – rewriting history, distorting the current situation.
Ireland holds the record for the longest domestic demand recession in the EU. And the really bad news is that we may not be out of it yet. The following table breaks down the length of consecutive domestic demand recession that EU countries have suffered since 1960.
Almost all EU countries have, since 1960, suffered at least a two-year domestic demand recession – with the exception of France and Malta (though data only goes back to 1996 for the island). Some domestic demand recessions have been harsh – Estonia’s two-year experience saw a fall of over 30 percent; some have been mild – Poland’s two-year experience saw a fall of less than one percent.
Ireland – along with Spain and Greece – have the longest consecutive domestic demand recession: six years. And in the tradition of breaking the tie, let’s count the number of years that domestic demand fell since 1960:
- Ireland: 12 years
- Greece: 10 years
- Spain: 9 years
With 12 years where domestic demand fell, Ireland wins on points.
Indeed, Ireland wins the double: longest domestic demand recession and the highest number of years where domestic demand fell. Since 1960, Ireland has spent 23 percent of the time suffering from falling domestic demand. That's the cup.
But, surely, this is nit-picking – what with all that recovery going on. So don’t worry about it.
Enjoy the weekend.