Dublin, November 13, 2017 – With the economy in free fall and unemployment skyrocketing, the country’s banking sector has been hit the hardest.
The Bank of Ireland (BoI) has reported a 0.2pc drop in GDP for the fourth quarter of 2017.
That was more than double the 0.1pc drop it predicted a year ago.
But the bank’s forecast for GDP growth in 2018, which it has since revised down to 0.3pc, is much lower, suggesting it is struggling to keep up with demand.
Its chief economist, Richard Boyd, told RTE that the BoI had not been able to make much progress on improving the banking system.
“The bank needs to work out how to address its own problems.
We’re still not quite there,” he said.”
We’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of the restructuring of the banking sector.
It’s not going to be easy.”
The BoI expects the economy to expand by 0.5pc in 2019 and by 1.3% in 2020.
Its latest forecasts show that the Irish economy is forecast to grow by 1pc in 2020 and by 0% in 2021.
The BoIs main aim is to create more jobs, and that is the biggest priority.
However, the outlook is far from perfect.
The bank is currently predicting that Ireland’s gross domestic product will shrink by 0,3pc in 2021 and by 2pc in 2022.
That would be a fall of around 20pc compared to its most recent forecast.
This is because of the impact of Brexit on the country.
It is also a consequence of the collapse in the value of the pound, which has been the worst since the global financial crisis.
It has also left many people struggling to make ends meet.
The Irish economy contracted by 3pc in the third quarter of last year, according to the Central Statistics Office.
The BoI said the figures were worse than expected because of Brexit.
The figures came as the Irish Government announced that it would be cutting back on public sector pensions and increasing income tax for people who earn more than €30,000 a year.
The changes, announced by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in April, came after an independent review found that the government was not keeping up with its promises on the economy.
Mr Varadker has said that the reduction in public sector pension payments and increased income tax would not affect the Irish pension system.
Mr Boyd said the Government was making a mistake.
“I think the BoIs approach is just not sustainable,” he told Rte.
“It’s not sustainable because we have to continue to spend the money that we are getting from the EU.”
If we can’t do that, then it’s going to look like a failure.
“That’s not what we want to see.
We want the government to make a lot more investments in our economy.”