The latest CSO figures released this week make for very encouraging reading. The Irish Economy has grown by 0.9% over the last 12 months. For the second year in a row, the value of all goods and services reported growth as recorded by GDP. The strongest performing industries were software, distribution and transport, which saw an increase in output by 3.1%. Ireland continues to demonstrate its considerable pedigree in the IT space with exports in software and computer services offsetting shortfalls in other areas.
Although significant economic challenges remain, Ireland’s domestic growth model in the midst of continued global uncertainty, is certainly an encouraging development. There were more positives from this months’ report with the Tourism industry benefiting from a 4.5% increase in earnings from foreign travellers to Irish shores. In all, non-resident visitors to Ireland provided €3.68 billion to the economy thanks to an increase in tourist numbers by 0.2%.
I truly believe that there is considerable cause for optimism in 2013. There is a growing sentiment among economic analysts that Ireland is through the worst of the recession. There are an increasing number of foreign-based start-ups choosing to make a home here, particularly in the major areas of ICT, Life Sciences and Gaming. Many of these businesses are attracted to Ireland’s young, educated and highly skilled workforce and I think this further serves to cement our reputation as a knowledge economy. Organisations like Enterprise Ireland and the IDA continue to do incredible work in showcasing our country’s strengths. Cpl is also committed to playing its part by aligning with Government to help develop such employment initiatives as Momentum and Job Bridge.
It is clear that jobseekers still have to work harder to get that next opportunity as companies will continue to be more focused on their needs. For graduates coming through to the workforce, companies really want some practical experience and this is becoming more and more important in their quest to get on the first rung of the career ladder.