Irlanda - crescimento artificial graças à Pfizer?

Em parte (o crescimento irlandês parece que é mesmo o maior da Europa, mas será menor do que as estatísticas milagrosas de 7% ou 8%).

Doing the maths: how real is Ireland's economic growth? (Independent)
The ESRI estimates that the Irish economy grew by 6.7pc in 2015 and is forecasting GDP growth of 4.8pc for this year. GNP, which is generally regarded as a better measurement of the underlying performance of the Irish economy, is also growing strongly, with the ESRI reckoning that it grew by 5.2pc last year and that it will grow by a further 5.3pc this year.

But how real is this economic growth? (...)

Measuring the true level of Irish economic activity has always been a tricky topic for economists. The generally accepted international standard is gross domestic product (GDP). The problem with GDP for Ireland is that it includes the undistributed profits of foreign-owned multinationals. This has the effect of artificially boosting the value of Irish economic output, since those profits belong not to Irish residents, but to the multinationals' overseas shareholders.

It is for this reason that gross national product (GNP), which excludes undistributed multinational profits, is the usually preferred measure of Irish economic output. (...)
Unfortunately, just when it seemed as if it was safe to trust the GNP figures once more, a new cloud has appeared on the horizon.

While re-registration may have had its day, a new but closely related phenomenon has since emerged to take its place: tax inversion.

Tax inversion takes place when a much larger, usually American, company agrees to be taken over by an Irish-registered company.

Under existing international tax law, this allows the enlarged company to be classified as 'Irish' and to qualify for our 12.5pc corporate profits tax rate - rather than Uncle Sam's punitive 35pc rate.

Since 2012, at least 21 major US corporations with a combined value of well over a third of a trillion dollars have gone through the tax inversion process. Many of these tax inversions have involved Irish-registered companies including Medtronic's takeover of Covidien, Perrigo's acquisition of Elan and Actavis' takeover of Allergan. 
However, it is the latest tax inversion-driven deal that has focused attention on the emerging problem. In November 2015, Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, announced that it had agreed a $160bn 'merger' with Allergan, which, following the previous Actavis transaction, is an Irish-registered company.

This means that the combined Pfizer/Allergan will be tax-resident in Ireland - and presumably that the $21bn of undistributed profits that Pfizer has on its balance sheet would be added to the Irish GNP figure. (...)

Professor FitzGerald doesn't specifically address the tax inversion issue in his June 2015 paper, but he does identify another potential problem, aircraft leasing, with up to 20pc of the world's civil aviation fleet either owned or managed by Irish-based leasing companies.

So how on Earth is one supposed to make sense of official Irish economic statistics?
In fairness to the CSO, it is not unaware of the problem. It set up a Large Cases Unit in 2009 to liaise with the largest Irish-based companies in an effort to identify potential distortions.

However, even with the best will in the world, the CSO is constrained, as it is obliged to produce its data in accordance with international standards - standards that aren't always appropriate to Irish conditions.

"GDP and GNP are very imperfect measures of how the economy is actually doing. The focus should be on domestic demand; investment, consumption and government spending," says Goodbody Stockbrokers economist Dermot O'Leary.

Using these indicators, Mr O'Leary reckons the Irish economy grew by 4.5pc in 2015 and that it will grow by a further 4pc in 2016.

"We are living in a 4pc-plus economy, rather than in a 7pc economy. If you compare that with the rest of Europe, we still have the best-performing economy," he says. (...) 
With GDP and now GNP having been apparently skewed by factors such as non-repatriated profits, companies re-registering and now tax inversions, readers of Irish economic statistics would be well advised to proceed with caution.
Também sobre isto - Pfizer as Irish firm would swamp Ireland's national accounts (1 de novembro de 2015)

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