Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (84)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

84. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Finance the resources available to him, both within and outside his Department, in terms of expert statistical analysis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29592/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department has a statistics unit led by a statistician on secondment from the CSO. This unit is responsible for providing an input into all general government statistical matters within the Department. The CSO is Ireland’s national statistical office and meets the needs of government for the provision of quality statistical information. Although existing as an independent body the CSO is available as an external resource for the Department in relation to the supply and clarification of statistical information and related issues. Communication with the CSO is enhanced by the presence of the CSO statistician permanently assigned to the Department of Finance, referred to above.

Further to the CSO as a direct resource, my Department also interacts with independent bodies such as the ESRI and academics and uses statistical data from the Eurostat, OECD, IMF and AMECO databases in its analysis.

In addition to the statistics unit there are fifty three staff members with Masters qualifications in finance related areas who utilise these skills in a variety of disciplines including economics, finance, banking and accounting.

The Economics Division supplies the Minister with economic analysis and forecasting including the development of macroeconomic projections, economic risk assessment, inflation forecasting, long-term forecasting and the development of economic analysis underpinning fiscal policy and sectoral economic analysis.

The approved staff complement of this division is 16 positions of which 3 are currently vacant.

All economics staff hold graduate qualifications in the area. In addition the division has a range of econometrics software available for use including Gretl and RATS as well as a subscription to the Macrobond data service.