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Ireland Coronavirus crisis could send country spiralling into deep recession, ESRI warns

23:40  26 march  2020
23:40  26 march  2020 Source:   dublinlive.ie

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The Irish economy will fall into recession this year, shrinking by as much as 7.1 per cent as a result of the coronavirus crisis , the Economic and Social The ESRI warns the labour market is set to face the largest shock in a single quarter in living memory – with the unemployment rate soaring to 18 per

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a group of people standing in front of a store: Up to one in six workers will be affected, with 350,000 ending up on the dole © Provided by Dublin Live Up to one in six workers will be affected, with 350,000 ending up on the dole

The country will plunge into a deep recession this year as the coronavirus pandemic hits hard, the ESRI warned today. The Economic Social and Research Institute says Ireland's economy could contract by over 7% – with unemployment soaring to a grim 18%. In the largest shock in living memory, up to one in six workers will be affected, with 350,000 ending up on the dole.

And it could be worse later if Ireland doesn’t start to recover. Drastic measures like closing down businesses taken to slow the spread of the virus and save lives will have a huge impact. The gloomy predictions are based on the shutdown staying in place for 12 weeks and the economy recovering afterwards.

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Want to help?: Volunteer Ireland are looking for people to assist our communities' most vulnerable members during the coronavirus emergency. If you're interested in helping, click HERE

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The ESRI said Covid 19 is an even greater threat to the Irish economy than the financial crash over a decade ago. Our economy will contract by 7.1% in 2020, and this is on the back of a 5.5% growth last year. The think-tank’s quarterly report said: “Consumption, investment and net trade would all fall sharply.

People wear face masks as a precautionary measure against covid-19, as they walk past shops in Dublin, on March 25, 2020, after Ireland introduced measures to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday announced that all non-essential businesses will shut from midnight  as part of the country's latest measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. © Getty People wear face masks as a precautionary measure against covid-19, as they walk past shops in Dublin, on March 25, 2020, after Ireland introduced measures to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. - Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday announced that all non-essential businesses will shut from midnight as part of the country's latest measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. "These are unprecedented actions to respond to an unprecedented emergency," he said, adding the measures would remain in place until at least April 19. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images) “Households would cut spending, firms would cancel or postpone investment and external demand for Irish goods and services will fall.” It said the labour market, in a strong position before the virus, faces the largest quarterly shock in a generation. 

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The jobless rate will jump to 18 per cent in the first three months of the year. At the end of 2019 it was 4.8 per cent – almost full employment. The latest predictions are based on the economies both domestically and internationally beginning to recover significantly in the third and fourth quarters of 2020.

If this does not occur, then the results will be even worse here, the ESRI warned. It said: “The swiftness of the economic deterioration is unprecedented in modern times and in many respects exceeds that of the financial crisis.

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 “The response of authorities both domestically and internationally to the spread of the virus, while absolutely necessary from a general health perspective, will result in millions of jobs being lost globally in the coming weeks and months and a sharp contraction in global economic activity.

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“The limitations on international travel and the effective sealing-off of entire countries will have profound implications for cross-country trade and commerce.” The ESRI said the swiftness of the economic deterioration is unprecedented in modern times. Ireland's GDP had outperformed everywhere in the EU each year since 2014.

But now, it said: "The general Government balance, which had been expected to be in surplus at the start of the year, would now register a 4.3% deficit. "This is as a result of the significant fall in revenues the exchequer will face due to the contraction in the economy.

Signs are seen in the window of a shop in Belfast City Centre, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff © Thomson Reuters Signs are seen in the window of a shop in Belfast City Centre, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff "It also reflects the significant increase in spending the Government will implement in order to support workers who have lost their jobs, assist businesses facing declines in revenue and provide additional health expenditure needed to combat the virus."

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE website here

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

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