THE DOMESTIC Irish economy continues across-the-bard declines, with gross national product falling almost 5 per cent during the third quarter of 2008. And if you believe many financial analysts, things are getting worse. The Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) released numbers that show capital investment fell 14.7%, construction is down by 18.4% and new homes plunged by 33%. These declines are worse than a recession. They point to floodgates opening where more than 50,000 Irish citizens will leave Ireland this Christmas season, perhaps emigrating permanently. Analysts quoted in the Irish Times Business News call the results "disastrous" because the indigenous economy is collapsing. Consumer spending continues sliding, even during the traditional Christmas shopping season. Nokia saw this coming--and not just in Ireland. New car sales in Ireland are down by 16% and my neighbour the car salesman is feeling the pain with a 30% drop in his orders for early 2009. That's like taking a 30% pay cut, since he works on commission. Successfully living in Ireland today means throttling back every place where money is spent. In my case, writing aboard Irish Rail, it means using my data SIM more than my voice SIM. From past experience, I can save up to EUR70 every month when I allow myself just two hours of telephone voice contact a day. Text me if you need something. Or send me a direct message on Twitter or Jaiku. They're free for me to receive and send.
Fiona Redden -- "CSO Figures Show Continuing Economic Decline" in The Irish Times, 18 December 2008.
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