Standish CEO Optimistic on Ireland's Deficit Reduction and Growing Economy
Ireland's ability to begin reducing its deficit and restore growth has enabled it to separate itself from European countries with more troubled economies such as Portugal and Greece, according to Desmond Mac Intyre, chairman and chief executive officer of Standish Mellon Asset Management Company LLC, the fixed income specialist for BNY Mellon Asset Management.
Mac Intyre made the comments at this morning's event, An Overview of the Irish Economy, hosted by BNY Mellon at its New York headquarters. Approximately 100 clients, consultants and others in the financial services attended the event, which was timed to coincide with St. Patrick's Day. Joan Burton, Irish minister for social protection and a member of the Irish parliament, was a guest.
Among the reasons for optimism cited by Mac Intyre were the reduction of the government deficit below 10 percent in 2011 and the estimated expansion of its economy by 0.9 percent in 2011, the first growth since 2007.
"Standish expects this growth to continue into 2012, with medium to high expectations ranging from between negative 0.1 percent to positive 1.0 percent," he said. "While the country is clearly not yet firing on all cylinders, there is likely to be growth nonetheless."
Other positive signs include exports rising above previous peaks, the savings rate of approximately eight percent, and the success by government and business leaders to encourage foreign direct investment, he said. Mac Intyre added, "Standish views foreign direct investment as a key building block behind Ireland's success, its quest for job generation, and its export-led recovery."
While Mac Intyre noted that unemployment remains too high and further reductions are necessary in the budget deficit, he said Standish was optimistic that Ireland will overcome these challenges. He added, "It is our view that the Irish economy has the ability to grow out of recession."