The political and economic stability provided by Irish government policies brought inflation and budget deficits under control after two years of overheating, resulting in increased labour force skills, employment, and foreign investments. Ireland's population of 4.1 million, growing at 1.2% yearly, is the youngest in the EU with more than 53% below the age of 35. Literacy is high, poverty is low, and government forecasts private consumption to grow at 5.6% and GDP ($222 bn in 2005) to grow steadily at 4.7% in 2006.
The economic boom triggered substantial changes in the Irish retail landscape and transformed what was once a collection of small shops offering specialised services, small general stores offering various dry goods and fresh foods, and department stores selling clothes and household items. ...Show more