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Is confidence in the Irish economy misplaced?

The Irish economy has been very much in the news over the last few weeks and months with the collapse of the financial sector, significant government cost-cutting and various altercations with unions. However, there is a general feeling that the economy is on the verge of a turnaround with the Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, suggesting that a return to rapid growth could happen as early as 2010. So has the Irish economy really turned on a sixpence?

While the forecast of "rapid growth" in 2010 may be a little optimistic at this moment in time, there have been interesting developments in the investment markets. Aside from the fact recent government bond issues were oversubscribed by investors, rubberstamping the belief that confidence is coming back, it also appears as though tax receipts have bottomed out and are now starting to increase. Against this background it is not difficult to portray an economy which is on the turn but there are still many obstacles and situations which could arise and derail the recovery.

If the recovery does come into play next year it will be one of the most impressive economic turnarounds in recent times although all eyes will be on forthcoming budgets in October and April with a very difficult balancing act between maintaining tax rates and increasing government revenues.

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