School Report: High Marks for Ireland (But Could Do Better!)

Ireland is seen to be doing very well in the results of the OECD study of school performance throughout the member states taken in 2022. Students at age 15/16 were tested in Maths, Reading, and Science. Ireland was tenth in Maths, second in Reading and tenth in Science out of the 81 countries surveyed. That is, we were better than e.g. Germany at Maths, England at Reading and the US at science. Oriental countries, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong were towards the top in all three areas. Canada, Estonia and Ireland were the only non-oriental countries in the top ten in all three subjects.

Irish Inflation Continues to Fall

The 'flash' inflation figure for Ireland for June shows that the rate of price increases in Ireland is continuing to slow down. The preliminary figure released by the CSO reports a 1.5% increase on June 2023. This is down from 2.0% in May. The corresponding figure for the Eurozone is 2.5% which is very slightly less than in May. While a little disappointing, it may not rule out chances of a cut in ECB interest rates later this year to add to the 0.25% cut in June. In the US expectations of an early fall in official rates are on hold as inflation remains highish and the US economy is very buoyant.

Economy due to pick up

Slower growth in the world economy in 2023 took its toll of the Irish economy, especially the foreign owned sector. But there is general agreement amongst economic forecasters that this year and next will see a recovery with growth rates of 2.5% to 2.5% depending on which measure is used and who is doing the forecasting. The situation with respect to inflation is very positive. This year will see the rate of increase in consumer prices fall by half to two thirds from 2023's and to continue subdued in 2025 and 2026.

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