In the first set of Exchequer figures post Budget 2023, the figures remain remarkably strong and €12bn ahead year to date over 2021 comparables.
What will arguably please the Government most is that despite evidence of a slow down in hiring across the technology sector in particular, income tax figures for September remain strong, 15% ahead of the same month in 2021.
While there were signs previously of a levelling off in the VAT figures, the numbers today show that consumer spending remains strong, with figures for the month 19% ahead of September 2021. Given the uncertain economic environment and interest rate increases, this is quite remarkable.
Despite the very positive figures today, it is likely that we will still see a levelling off in the VAT figures in the final quarter of the year, in particular once the impact of higher energy costs is felt by consumers.
Once again there was an exceptionally strong set of corporation tax numbers, €1bn ahead of the same month last year. For the most part, the September figure reflects 2021 profits. It’s possible that any further dip in the global economy in the final months of the year, particularly in the life sciences and technology sectors, will impact on corporation tax figures for the key month of November, where the returns reflect 2022 results.
Overall, the September figures represent another excellent set of numbers. While there is clearly much uncertainty ahead, the resilience of the Irish economy to date is remarkable.