CSO set to examine how it measures the economy

As Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan agree new figures are not an accurate reflection...

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released a statement confirming that it will examine how it measures Ireland's economic performance, as it faces heavy criticism for new figures stating that GDP rose a staggering 26.3% in 2015.

Labelled 'leprechaun economics' in international quarters, both the Taoiseach and Minister of Finance have moved today to reassure the public that they would not be basing economic policy on the findings.

The under-fire CSO said today that it plans to "convene a high-level cross sector consultative group to examine how best to provide insight and understanding of all aspects of the Irish economy."

It continued:

"The CSO, like all national statistical institutes, must publish the key economic indicators of GDP and GNP in accordance with the international rules."

While it contended that the 2015 figures "capture and highlight the open and globalised nature of the Irish economy", it conceded that "due to the highly globalised nature of our economy, GDP and GNP do not always help to understand what is happening in the domestic economy."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described the 26.3% GDP growth rate published yesterday as unprecedented.

He dismissed talks of a spending spree off the back of the misleading figures, and said that the Government would "base their policy on a more normal growth rate, such as has been predicted by the Department of Finance, in the region of 3.5 to 4%."

"The growth in jobs, the growth in consumer spend, the drop in unemployment – that's where the real value of the economy is and the projections will be based on 4.5% to 4%."

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said:

"We're not making any decisions based on an economy growing at 26%."