Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, which honors the patron saint of Ireland. Many in the United States (with or without Irish ancestry) also tend to observe this feast day. But now that the parades are over, let’s take a minute to see what Ireland’s economy is up to.
Ireland is on the fringes of Europe and heavily dependent on the vagaries of its large neighbor, the United Kingdom. So it faces twin challenges:
difficult integration with the rest of Europe
strong fluctuations due to its small size, lack of diversification, and dependence on others
These challenges are apparent in the FRED graph above: Ireland had a deep and long recession around 2009, with a big drop in GDP, high unemployment, and collapsing real estate prices.
But the country recuperated and has done relatively well through the pandemic. However, it faces new uncertainties with Brexit: Will it be a boon, thanks to business moving from the