Can the Celtic Tiger Roar Again?

Photo of author

By Brendel Balaga

After the global financial meltdown in 2008, few Western nations were in more financial ruin than Ireland.

After more than 10 years of phenomenal growth, earning it the title “the Celtic Tiger”, the economy of the Irish Republic crumbled in 2009, contracting by a staggering 6.4 percent, after it was forced to bail out its bankrupt banking sector that was driven to the ground by greedy bankers, questionable politicians and inept regulators.

Before the crash, Ireland has been enjoying unprecedented economic growth for years. Between 2001 and 2007, Ireland’s annual gross domestic product growth was at 5.4 percent, by far the highest rate of any Western economy in recent times.

Since then, Ireland has been struggling to regain its footing economically. In the few years that followed, the Irish economy registered sluggish to non-existent growth.

It officially came out of recession in the second quarter of 2013 but has since failed to regain its enviable growth rate.

Now, many observers wonder if the Celtic Tiger will be able to fully recover and roar again.

Looking at numbers in the past two years, it looks like the mauled Celtic Tiger is ready to flex its economic muscles again.

Since 2014, Ireland has outperformed other developed economies, thanks mainly to investment by American companies, a rebound in consumer spending, and rising exports to both the U.S. and the U.K.

While economic indicators in the euro zone expanded by 1.6% last year, figures published by Ireland’s statistics agency in March this year showed GDP rose by 7.8%. That’s an astonishing growth rate, surpassing the pace of the Indian economy, which toppled China as the fastest-growing economy.

While the Celtic Tiger’s economy is predicted to grow at a slower pace this year, Ireland is expected to outpace many of its neighbors and repeat its spectacular success story.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos