Celtic tiger ceases to roar

The trend was well established but what a shock to read the blunt admission from the ERSI quarterly bulletin:

Taoiseach Brian Cowen warned last night that pay restraint is on the cards and that is no more popular in ROI than in the UK. How does the UK compare? In his March budget the chancellor cut his growth forecast for 2008 to 1.75%-2.25%, well below the 2.5%-3% predicted in last year’s Budget. The latest forecast from the CBI earlier this month balked at forecasting a recession. It cut its forecast for growth in 2009 from 1.7 per cent to 1.3 per cent, which would be the lowest rate since 1992.

So anyone who expects an investment bonanza in NI from either GB or the Republic shouldn’t hold their breath.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London