Sat, 04 Feb 2023

Fitch rates Ireland at AA- with stable outlook

Robert Besser
23 Jan 2023, 18:44 GMT+10

NEW YORK CITY, New York: Fitch Ratings has announced that Ireland's Long-Term Default Rating has reached 'AA-' with a Stable Outlook.

Ireland's revenue performance and end of Covd-19 supports will lead to a general government surplus of some 1 percent of GDP this year.

Fitch noted that Exchequer revenue was up by EUR14.2 billion, equal to 2.9 percent of GDP, or 16.5 percent in 2022. Of this, some one half of this increase was due to corporate tax income revenues.

Also, Ireland's debt to GDP ratio fell by an estimated 9 percent in 2022 to 46.5 percent, below the 'AA' median of 48.5 percent.

"We forecast that robust economic growth and strong primary surpluses will drive a fast reduction in debt to 35.3 percent of GDP at end-2024," said Fitch in a statement.

Fitch also noted that the labour market remains very tight, driven by the reopening of the economy after the pandemic and the strong performance of the multinational enterprise sector. The labor force continued increasing in 2022 and grew on average by 5.7 percent between the first and third quarter of 2022.

Additionally, the unemployment rate continued to decline, reaching 4.4 percent in November.

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