Monthly Archives: July 2014

Recovery Gathering Pace?

You may not feel it in your pocket, but the wounds of Ireland’s economic crisis really are slowly beginning to heal. GDP figures published earlier this month show that the size of the economy in the first three months of 2014 was bigger than at any time since the end of 2008 and exports hit a new high.

There is certainly no cause to crack open the champagne bottles, but it does show that an ‘export-led’ recovery is gaining traction. The problem is that it doesn’t feel to most people like there is a strong recovery underway.

By far the biggest component of the domestic economy is personal consumption, which has been essentially flat since the start of 2009, despite Ireland having a population that is growing quickly compared to our European neighbours. This means that ordinary people continue to spend less and less, and this is why many people don’t ‘feel’ the recovery yet. Continue reading

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Commodity Boom a Double-edged Sword for Africa

Powered by soaring commodity prices, Africa’s economic fortunes have been transformed since the turn of the century. This commodity boom was itself driven to a large extent by China’s resource-hungry investment-led growth model.

In 2012, China imported 17% of its fuels and 7% of its total mineral imports from Africa. Although commodity prices – from oil to precious metals and most things in between – remain elevated compared to late 20th century levels, what is often termed a decades-long ‘super cycle’ ran out of steam in the latter part of the 2000s. Commodity prices have since fallen, sometimes sharply, from their peaks.

Click here to read the full article.