March 13th: Responding to the latest Quarterly National Accounts, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said today (Thursday March 13th) that the economy is now in worse shape than when the Government took office two years ago, and he said it was clear that the economy is continuing to stagnate under the weight of austerity. Pointing to the fall in domestic demand and consumer spending, Mr Kelly said that the economy was in urgent need of a cash injection from wage increases and increased public investment.
“Today’s figures show that the economy is continuing to stagnate under the weight of five years of austerity. The economy is now in worse shape than when this Government took office. The last quarter’s fall in GDP is the worst quarterly performance since 2008.
“The fall in domestic demand and consumer spending is particularly worrying and highlights the impact of unemployment, and of stagnating wages for those in work.
“It is clear that the economy is in urgent need of a cash injection not only from increased public investment, but also from wage increases, which would be felt in the cash registers of businesses up and down the country”, Mr Kelly said.
Unite researcher Michael Taft added:
“The fall in consumer spending indicates that a considerable proportion of the rise in job numbers over the past year may be something of a statistical fluke. It is also clear that the GNP numbers are flattered by reduced international flows such as repatriated profits. The best indicator we have of the domestic economy is domestic demand and that continues to fall.”