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Research Announcement:

Moody's - Brexit is Ireland’s largest external threat to growth

13 August 2019

Paris, August 13, 2019 --

  • Ireland's economic prospects are strong on competitiveness gains, presence of multinational corporations
  • The UK's exit from the EU is the largest external risk for Ireland's growth prospects because of the two countries trading links

Ireland's credit profile (A2 stable) reflects an open, flexible and wealthy economy, and Brexit is still the country's largest external risk for growth because of close trading links with the UK, Moody's Investors Service said in a report published today.

"Ireland's economic prospects are strong on account of substantial competitiveness gains, as well as robust export and productivity growth, which in turn is linked to the expanding presence of multinational corporations," said Sarah Carlson, Senior Vice President at Moody's. "Public finances have improved rapidly alongside the economic recovery, the private sector has also reduced its debt levels, and the banking sector is no longer a large contingent liability for the government."

Still, Ireland has an unusually high degree of economic volatility, principally because of its openness and integration into multinationals' global value chains. This volatility, in turn, requires larger fiscal buffers to deal with negative shocks. Ireland is exposed to risks from Brexit, shifts in global taxation rules, and a slowdown in global trade. Meanwhile, risks of an overheating economy are rising, with unemployment below 5% and accelerated wage growth over the past year although immediate inflationary pressures remain modest.

Upgrades or downgrades of Ireland's credit rating would likely be linked to developments in the government's fiscal and debt metrics. The Irish authorities currently foresee a very gradual further improvement of fiscal accounts, as focus turns to boosting infrastructure investment over coming years. A further significant reduction in public debt could lead to an upgrade, while indications of waning commitment to sound public finances and lower public debt could put downward pressure on the rating.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: New York +1-212-553-0376, London +44-20-7772-5456, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Sarah Carlson, CFA
Senior Vice President
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's France SAS
JOURNALISTS : 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service : 44 20 7772 5454

Dietmar Hornung
Associate Managing Director
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS : 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service : 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office :
Moody's France SAS
96 Boulevard Haussmann
Paris, 75008
France
JOURNALISTS : 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service : 44 20 7772 5454

© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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