by Niamh Doyle
Ireland’s four-year recession has at last come to an official end. Planned to exit its three-year-old bailout on Dec 15, Ireland has seen a rise in its GDP this quarter and is looking forward to a potentially prosperous economic future.
GDP figures are up by 0.4 percent, and Ireland has seen definite increases in revenue, especially in its international industries. Ireland originally sought an international bailout in November 2010, having been one of the most impacted countries in the Eurozone after the 2008 crash and the 2009 Eurozone crisis. However, this struggle has come to a relative end, as the country is planning on finalizing its annual budget in upcoming months.
Leaving the bailout does not mean that Ireland is economically strong; however, the Irish Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, says that exiting the bailout is “no reason to throw our hats in the air. It will still be quite a difficult budget, but it gives us ambition on which to build the budget and the strategy to exit the program.” Unfortunately, there is truth to Noonan’s words. When analyzed closely, reports show that Ireland’s GNP, or gross national product, has shrunk by 0.1 percent. Excluding international enterprise, Ireland’s internal revenue has not improved.
What matters is that Ireland is making definite steps that will hopefully lead to a brighter economic future. By leaving the bailout, Ireland is finding its feet again and preparing for normal market trade with other countries. Ireland has given itself a reasonable cash buffer to make the transition as smooth as possible. Noonan is aiming on publishing a medium-term economic strategy before Dec. 25 so the world can see where Ireland is headed next.