Who We Are & What We Do

Rory Malone, 2016 Economic Policy Competition winner pictured with Economic Division colleagues

Economic colleagues with Rory Malone, 2016 Economic Policy Competition Winner.













Chief Economist

Picture of John McCarthy, Chief Economist

John McCarthy


The Economic Division is responsible for assessing and advising on Irish economic and fiscal developments.  The Division is also responsible for the provision of rigorous analytical support to the Minister and wider Department on a broad range of economic and budgetary policy matters, as well as the production and co-ordination of the annual Budget.

To achieve these objectives, the Division is organised in four units, each headed by a Principal Officer:





International / sectoral economic issues and Exchequer (Dublin) unit

Picture of Fearghal O'Brolchain, Principal Officer

Feargal Ó Brolcháin


This unit leads on the assessment of developments in the international economy, including advising on the economic implications of Brexit for Ireland.  The unit serves as the contact for the OECD and has responsibility for the OECD’s biennial survey of the Irish economy.  The unit is also responsible for providing advice on sectoral issues, with particular reference to the construction sector.


In addition, the unit is managing the transition of the Department’s Exchequer management function to Dublin.






Central budget section and statisical support unit

Scline Scott


This unit has responsibility for analysing and advising on Irish fiscal developments, outlook and policy.  Short- and medium-term revenue projections, as well as deficit and debt forecasts are compiled in this unit which also has responsibility for overall co-ordination and preparation of the annual Budget.  The unit also publishes the monthly Fiscal Monitor and the Department’s Annual Taxation Report as well as providing advice regarding statistical classification issues.








Fiscal analysis unit

Matthew McGann


This unit conducts policy-relevant fiscal analysis and research that supports the Minister and Department in achieving their strategic goals.  The unit undertakes in-depth economic analysis of taxation policies, including the evaluation of tax expenditures, as well as providing advice on the distributional effects of budgetary policies in support of evidence-based policy-formation.  This unit is responsible for the production of the Department’s Annual Debt Report and the analysis that underpins the assessment of the budgetary costs of population ageing.  It houses the fiscal rules unit and is responsible for participating in the relevant European Union forum (deputy EFC member with responsibility for the Stability and Growth Pact).





Macroeconomic analysis and forecasting unit

Brendan O’Connor


This unit monitors and advises on developments in the Irish economy.  It has responsibility for the preparation of short-term (demand-side) and medium-term (supply-side) forecasts for the Irish economy, which are published twice-yearly in the Stability Programme Update (April) and the Macroeconomic and Fiscal Outlook (October, as input to the annual Budget).  This unit also houses the Department’s productivity and macro-modelling sections.