Has Ireland's economic competitiveness been overstated?

Youth unemployment and the housing crisis are hurting business

Has Ireland's economic competitiveness been overstated?

Giuseppe Milo, Flickr

It was announced yesterday that Ireland has been ranked as the seventh most competitive country in the world, that's nine places higher than last year's ranking, and the highest position since 2000 - but the country's competitiveness watchdog believes that the report may offer a rose-tinted view of business conditions in Ireland.

UCD economist Professor Peter Clinch is the head of the National Competitiveness Council welcomed the ranking, but added, "While we should be pleased that Ireland's improving competitiveness is recognised globally, we cannot afford to become complacent about our performance or relax our efforts to drive improvements."

The body said that youth and long-term unemployment remain major issues and that issues surrounding capital investment and access to credit for businesses also need to be addressed, according to the Irish Independent.

It also said that more actions need to be taken to tackle the housing crisis.

The council has also raised concerns about a lack of skilled construction workers pushing up prices, and recent reports which show that businesses in Ireland pay 80% more than the EU average for loans.

Ireland's rise in the IMD competitiveness ranking has been linked to its improved economic performance.

Hong Kong topped the list which is compiled by the IMD business school in Switzerland, it is followed by Switzerland, the US, Singapore, Sweden and Denmark.