Pictured: Economic colleagues with Rory Malone, 2016 Economic Policy Competition Winner
John McCarthy, Chief Economist
The Economic Division is responsible for assessing and advising on Irish economic and fiscal developments. The Division is also responsible for the provision of rigorous analytical support to the Minister and wider Department on a broad range of economic and budgetary policy matters, as well as the production and co-ordination of the annual Budget.
To achieve these objectives, the Division is organised in four units, each headed by a Principal Officer:
Macroeconomic analysis and forecasting unit
Feargal Ó Brolcháin
This unit monitors and advises on developments in the Irish economy. It has responsibility for the preparation of short- and medium-term forecasts of the Irish economy which are published twice-yearly in the Stability Programme Update (April) and the Macroeconomic Outlook (October, as input to the annual Budget). It has the lead role in the co-ordination of the biennial survey of the Irish economy by the OECD.
Fiscal policy and statistics unit
The Fiscal Policy Unit has responsibility for analysing and advising on Irish fiscal developments, outlook and policy. Short- and medium-term revenue projections, as well as deficit and debt forecasts are compiled in this unit which also has responsibility for overall co-ordination and preparation of the annual Budget. The unit also provides advice on legal obligations relating to the fiscal rules and statistical classification issues.
Economic strategy unit
This unit provides analytical support to the wider Department on economic issues. In-depth economic analysis of taxation policies, including the evaluation of tax expenditures, is undertaken. The unit provide advice on the distributional effects of budgetary policies in support of evidence-based policy-formation. It is also responsible for the provision of advice on sectoral issues, and for monitoring and assessing developments in the housing sector.
Economic research unit
The Economic Research Unit conducts policy-relevant economic research that support the Minister and Department in achieving strategic goals. This unit is responsible for modelling the Irish economy using a suite of econometric models (some of the work is conducted jointly with researchers in the ESRI). A key work-stream in this unit relates to assessing the Irish economic implications of Brexit. This unit also houses the Department’s productivity section.
For futher information see WhoDoesWhat.Gov.ie
- An Exchequer surplus of €587 million was recorded to end February 2017. This compares to a surplus of €310 million in the same period last year. The €277 million year-on-year improvement is primarily due to increased tax receipts.
- February Tax revenues were up 1.6% (€44 million) against profile, which represents a 0.8% (€21 million) increase when compared to the corresponding month in 2016. In cumulative terms, tax receipts were 0.6% ahead of target, which equates to an annual increase of 4.1% or €294 million.
- Overall, total net voted expenditure to end-February 2017, at €7,012 million, was up 6.9% or €451 million in year-on-year terms.
- Combined receipts from non-tax revenue and capital receipts were down 28.6% (€411 million) year-on-year, while non-voted expenditure was down 47.4% or €845 million, driven primarily by the absence of short-term loans to the Social Insurance Fund in the year-to-date.
This Update of Ireland’s Stability Programme takes account of Budget 2017 and other Government initiatives. It is Ireland’s national medium-term fiscal plan and includes an update of the economic and fiscal outlook. This document will be submitted to the European Commission on  April 2017 in accordance with the requirements of the European Semester. It was presented in draft form to Dáil Éireann on 11 April prior to submission. The document incorporates horizontal guidance provided by the European Council to Member States in December 2016 and March 2017 as part of the discussions on the Annual Growth Survey. It has been prepared in line with the September 2012 guidelines on the format and content of Stability and Convergence programmes. This document should be read in conjunction with Ireland’s National Reform Programme (NRP) 2017, which sets out policies being advanced in response to challenges identified by the European Commission in its Country Report on Ireland, and which reports on progress towards our Europe 2020 Strategy targets.
Watch Justin Flannery on MEB for March 2017
The Department’s Monthly Economic Bulletin (MEB) provides a monthly update of some of the key developments within the Irish economy across a broad spectrum of sectors. The bulletin also outlines fiscal developments for the State, as well as being a source of the Department’s most up-to-date forecasts and providing a snapshot of conditions in some of Ireland’s key trading partners. This publication is designed with the aim of being both informative and accessible to a wide readership. The MEB can be used as a research aid or for presentational purposes.
Ireland's Economy and Finances Report Card - published 10th March 2017
Budgetary Statistics 2016 - published 9th January 2017
Staff in the economic division regularly produce working papers that explore and analyse macroeconomic, microeconomic and fiscal issues to help inform policy formation. The analysis and views set out in these working papers are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Finance or the Minister for Finance.
Authors: Donal Smith, Mike Fahy, Brian Corcoran and Brendan O'Connor, March 2017. Note: This paper is an update of a previous version of the paper that was published with Budget 2017 on 11 October 2016. Following publication of the October 2016 version, the CSO released updated data which is now included in the revised paper.
Authors: Javier Papa and John Harnett, December 2016
Authors: David Hegarty and Donal Lynch, December 2016
Authors: Jean Acheson and Rory Malone, October 2016
Authors: Brendan O’Connor and Donal Lynch, Administration Journal, Volume 64, No 1, May 2016
Authors: Brendan O’Connor and Terence Hynes, part of the Economic Impact Assessment of Ireland’s Corporation Tax Policy, October 2014
Authors: Brendan O’Connor, Shane Enright and Mary Dalton, part of the Economic Impact Assessment of Ireland’s Corporation Tax Policy, October 2014
Authors: Brendan O’Connor, Laura Weymes, Terence Hynes, David Hegarty, Matt McGann and Niamh Callaghan, July 2014
Authors: Brendan O’Connor and Terence Hynes, May 2014
Authors: Mary Dalton and Shane Enright, October 2013
Author: Brendan O'Connor, The Economic and Social Review, Volume 44, No. 4, Winter 2013
Author: Brendan O'Connor, Administration Journal, Volume 60, No. 4, March 2013
Economists in the Department collaborate with experts in other government departments, external organisations and academia and produce joint work. The analysis and views set out in joint papers are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Finance or the Minister for Finance.
Authors: Adele Bergin (ESRI), Niall Conroy (ESRI), Abian Garcia Rodrigueza (ESRI), Dawn Holland (ESRI), Niall McInerney (ESRI), Edgar Morgenroth (ESRI) and Donal Smith (DoF), February 2017
Authors: Martina Lawless (ESRI) and Donal Lynch (DoF), November 2016
Authors: Adele Bergin (ESRI), Abien Rodriguez (ESRI), Niall McInerney (ESRI), Edgar Morgenroth(ESRI), Donal Smith (DoF), November 2016
Authors: Brendan O'Connor, Terence Hynes, David Haugh (OECD), and Patrick Lenain (OECD), The Economic and Social Review, Volume 47, No 1, Spring 2016
Economic staff in the Department of Finance regularly present their own research, and to inform the public and to engage with experts in national and international external organisations and agencies. The analysis and views set out in such presentations are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Finance or the Minister for Finance.
Presenters: John McCarthy and Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasting Unit, Presentation to the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, 31st March 2017
Presenters: Donal Smith, Mike Fahy, Brian Corcoran, Brendan O’Connor, Low Pay Commissions Information Day, 9th March 2017
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at Joint Oireachtas Committee on Future Funding of Irish Water, January 2017
Presenters: Donal Lynch (DoF), Martina Lawless (ESRI), November 2016
Presenters: Jean Acheson (DoF), Yota Deli (ESRI). Department of Finance Tax Policy Conference, November 2016
Presenter: Donal Smith, October 2016
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at PAII conference, May 2016
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at European Commission conference, Lisbon, April 2016
Presenters: John Harnett and Javier Papa, March 2016
Presenters: David Hegarty and Alan Barrett (ESRI), Tax Policy Conference, November 2015
Presenters: Brendan O'Connor, Terence Hynes and David Haugh (OECD), Tax Policy Conference, November 2015
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at German Finance Ministry conference, Berlin, March 2015
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at Bruegel conference, Brussels, November 2014
Presenters: Brendan O’Connor and Laura Weymes, October 2014
Presenters: Brendan O’Connor and Donal Lynch, October 2014
Presenters: Brendan O’Connor & Shane Enright, Tax Policy Conference, October 2014
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at IIEA-European Commission seminar, Dublin, June 2014. You can also watch John's presention here.
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at Nicosia Economic Congress, Nicosia, May 2014
Presenter: John McCarthy, Chief Economist at European Commission Conference, Dublin, March 2014
Presenters: Brendan O’Connor, October 2013