The Irish government yesterday reintroduced some of the restrictions on social contact, events, public transport use and workplaces, although it is far from a return to the draconian lockdown measures of March/April.
Goodbody Stockbrokers believe the decision was justified based on an uptick in cases over the past week.
Data from the ECDC show that the incidence of cases over the last 14 days, relative to the population, stands at 23 per 100,000. This compares to an average of 33 in the 31 European countries reported. There is no doubt that the number of cases has risen recently, but it is also the case that the Irish government has decided to take the more cautious route to managing the virus.
Goodbody Stockbrokers say in terms of the economy, in theory, there are very few additional restrictions that would cause further strain but in practice, there is.
A survey published yesterday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that businesses biggest concern was another lockdown. The second biggest concern was demand or reduced consumer confidence. The survey also found that while 46% of firms had revenues at (34%) or above (12%) normal, 34% had revenues less than 50% of normal. Another finding was that 50% of firms are receiving some form of governmental support.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "Politics plays a big role in these kinds of decisions, with the reopening of schools being the biggest single priority right now for the government. That is vitally important but given how long the virus may be with us, some balance must return to these decisions."