News that influential publisher Forbes has given a 2-thumbs up to Ireland as a good place to do business has been warmly received across the media spectrum here. But the Forbes review comes on the back of a wave of positive indicators coming out of Ireland in recent weeks including:
The standardised unemployment rate eased to 12.5% in November from 12.6% in October. This is the lowest level since July 2009 and compares to an unemployment rate of 14.1% in November of last year.
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland successfully raised enough money from private investors to pay more than €2 billion back to the Government which maintains a stake in the bank following its bailout of the banks following the 2008 financial crisis. Bank of Ireland is the first of the bailed-out Irish banks to make significant progress to full commercial independence.
Mortgage arrears growth eases
The rate of growth in ‘early arrears’ (arrears less than three months) fell 6 pct. However, arrears greater than 90 days rose from 12.7 pct in Q2 to 12.9 pct in Q3. Mortgage holders in Ireland have benefitted from a series of European Central Bank lending rate cuts this year.
Forbes places Ireland top of the class
But back to the Forbes piece where it names Ireland as the best country in the world for business. It is the first time Ireland has topped the list since it began in 2006. Ireland moved up from number six out of 145 countries analysed last year due to improved scores on monetary freedom and the high return from the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index.