2011 OECD Economic Surveys: Ireland 2011

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Ireland 2011

OECD's  2011 Economic Survey of Ireland examiens restoring fiscal sustainability, overcoming the banking crises and structural reforms to reduce unemployment and restore competitiveness.

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Executive summary

The Irish economy was hit by a severe crisis in 2008, after over a decade of strong growth that propelled Ireland to the fourth highest level of GDP per capita in the OECD. Initially growth was well founded on solid productivity increases. However, during a period of low-cost funding on international markets and low risk aversion globally, the expansion became increasingly reliant on a speculative housing bubble financed by lax bank lending standards and excessive credit expansion that collapsed in 2008 in the midst of the global economic and financial crisis. During the latter part of the boom, the acceleration of wages eroded international cost-competitiveness and the banking system became over-extended and, once the bubble burst, would have been insolvent without state support. Capital injections to help resolve the crisis have resulted in a sharply higher public debt. In the aftermath, households have been hit by wage cuts, job losses, tax increases and falling house prices, though living standards and perceptions of well-being remain high by international standards.

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