Ireland and its exchange traded fund (ETF) are being sorely tested after a summer of economic discontent that was initially deemed “temporary,” but is now looking stubborn.

Recent statistics are making it hard to deny as new numbers come out.

Unemployment has hit a nine-year-high, and consumer confidence has plunged. Experts had been predicting that layoffs would be confined to the construction sector, but the majority of job losses have been with women, proving that the male-dominated construction industry isn’t the only area suffering, reports The Earth Times.

Home prices fell for the 16th month in a row, with the number of new homes registered falling more than 80%. Tax revenues are falling short of predictions and national pay talks are now canceled, leaving many pondering that this is the most serious situation in over two decades for Ireland’s economy.

The optimists in the situation believe that the recent drop in oil prices, mixed with the strengthening of the dollar against the euro, helped by the possible cut in interest rate by the European Central Bank could be just what Ireland needs.

The NETS ISEQ 20 Index (IQE) launched on June 16. Its heaviest weighting is in Ireland’s financial sector, at 39.5%. Construction and property investment is 22.8%, food and drink are 12.4% and pharmaceutical and biotechnology are 11.1%.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.