Dan O’Brien: End of acute Covid period finds Ireland’s economy in encouragingly rude health

Despite the geopolitical uncertainty, the challenges of inflation and energy, as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the forecast for the economy is upbeat

In the final quarter of last year, the number of people at work reached 2.5 million, a record number and around 150,000 ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Picture: Bloomberg Finance LP

Three months ago, the world was bracing for the effects of Omicron. Mercifully, the global health impact has been limited compared to previous waves of the pandemic. So has the economic effect. But it has not been non-existent.

The latest wave has taken a further toll on livelihoods in recent months, along with the effects of higher inflation on real incomes and higher interest rates in some countries. As a result, many international forecasters have ...