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Mensajepor Dalamar » 09 Oct 2013 13:23

For the last 13 months, the unemployment rate has been falling steadily. It's now down to 13.3%, the lowest level since 2010.

The housing market is also showing real signs of life. Having pretty much halved following the crisis, prices in Dublin have already up by 11% since last year. While Dublin remains an outlier (not unlike London), even national prices showed a modest improvement of 2.8% in the first eight months of this year.

The pick-up in employment and house prices is translating into rising consumer spending. Retail sales are up by nearly 3% on the year. Consumer confidence has finally returned to pre-crisis levels. Even the pubs, which were gutted by the recession, are starting to see a rise in customers.

Meanwhile, the government's balance sheet is improving too. The European Central Bank has restructured some of the loans Ireland took out to cover the bank debt, postponing their repayment date. There is even talk of Ireland returning to the bond markets soon.

All these improvements mean the economy is expected to grow by 1.9% next year and 2.5% in 2015.
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