5" x 5"
Artwork by Rachel Arbuckle
"Celtic Tiger" (Irish: An Tíogar Ceilteach) is a term referring to the economy of the Republic of Ireland from the mid-1990s to the late-2000s, a period of rapid real economic growth fuelled by foreign direct investment. The boom was dampened by a subsequent property bubble which resulted in a severe economic downturn.
At the start of the 1990s, Ireland was a poor country by West European standards, with high poverty, unemployment, inflation, and low growth. The Irish economy expanded at an average rate of 9.4% between 1995 and 2000 and continued to grow at an average rate of 5.9% during the following decade until 2008, when it fell into recession. Ireland's rapid growth has been described as a rare example of a Western country matching the growth of East Asian nations, i.e. the 'Four Asian Tigers'.
The economy underwent a dramatic reversal from 2008, hit hard by the European economic crisis, with GDP contracting by 14% and unemployment levels rising to 14% by 2011. The economic and financial crisis lasted until 2014; the year 2015 with a growth rate of 6.7% marked the beginning of a new period of strong economic growth.