By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
I have recently returned from my annual holiday to the beautiful west coast of Ireland and for the first time in a long time this year was very different. For a start there was not one drop of rain which must rate as a record for Mrs Mulvaney and me on an Irish holiday. However the biggest difference we saw was the resurgence of the Irish economy.
The last few years in Ireland have been fairly tough as the Irish government dealt with the outcome of the crash and banking crisis in 2008. The Irish government were forced to go cap in hand to the EU for a €67 billion bailout and the austerity measures that came with the package had a depressing effect on the economy as a whole and were visible in the crash in property prices and the increase in unemployment.
This year it seemed to me that a lot of confidence had returned and you could see this in the busy shops and restaurants and on the building sites where cranes were once again visible on the skyline. Even the supermarket in Clifden was stocking Polish products for the people who had come over to work from Eastern Europe.
A supermarket in Clifden, Ireland, advertises Polish products for workers from abroad
Reading the Irish press, reports of the upturn was on all the front pages. The Finance Minister announced that GDP had surged to 7.7% in the year to June which makes Ireland the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone.
The turnaround, in contrast to many of the other Eurozone countries comes less than a year after Ireland regained its economic sovereignty from the EU and IMF and many of the Irish people we spoke to on our holiday confirmed that confidence and optimism – traditional Irish traits, were once again returning.
Ireland is being held up as an example of what can be achieved if a country takes the necessary steps to deal with the economic crisis and bites the bullet with an austerity package. There are a number of large multi-national businesses that use Ireland as a base, with computer software and pharmaceuticals being big exports to Europe and the USA. In fact if you pardon the pun, in what might be seen as a rising trend, nearly half the world’s supply of Viagra is manufactured in Cork.
Landa Customers in Ireland are Optimistic
Cheers to Ireland’s economic upturn!
One of Landa’s potential customers in Dublin had also noticed the improvement. Tony Roe, the MD of McGowan’s print told me that the traffic on Irish roads had returned to pre-crash levels – a good indicator of business confidence. Mal McGowan suggested that there was a sense of cautious optimism despite the man in the street having less disposable income than he did in 2007. He believed they had learned the lessons of the banking crisis and this time growth was based on exports and growing foreign inward investment, rather than property speculation. All in all good news from the Emerald Isle and hopefully I will see more of the same on holiday next year.