Europe

Irish statistical agency to review reports after 'leprechaun economics' mockery

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The Republic of Ireland's official statistical agency is to review how it presents the country's growth figures.

There was widespread mockery of figures published on Tuesday that showed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) had grown by a staggering 26% in 2015.

The figures were heavily distorted by the activities of multinational companies that use Dublin as a centre for financing and taxation operations.

Economist Paul Krugman described the GDP number as "leprechaun economics".

The Financial Times said the presentation was on a par with the works of James Joyce and Flann O'Brien.

One-off

The Central Statistics Office said it now intends 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 said the group would look at how it presents national accounts information and the potential of developing new growth indicators.

The GDP figure was inflated by one-off figures such as companies moving intellectual property rights to Ireland.

Those moves expand the country's stock of assets while adding little to the real economy.

The country's real growth rate in 2015 was probably between 4% and 6%, which is still strong by the standards of developed countries.