The Irish economy could contract by 15% this quarter in a worst case scenario outcome from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
That's according to stockbroker Davy, which said that despite the restrictions on business, social distancing and travel announced last week by the Government, and the additional €3.7bn fiscal stimulus, the hit to GDP over the next three months will now likely be larger than it first expected.
"However, we still believe Ireland’s export-orientated economy means that GDP will see a smaller hit than in other countries and puts it in a better position to bounce back once the COVID-19 outbreak dissipates," said Davy Chief Economist, Conall MacCoille.
Mr MacCoille said that the total fiscal stimulus announced so far is €6.7bn or 1.9% of GDP.
But this only includes funding for 12 weeks of the new income and welfare supports, he said.
"If these supports are extended, the fiscal cost could rise towards €10-15bn (3-4% of GDP), compared to the £90bn of measures announced for the UK," he claimed.
Mr MacCoille said initial economic indicators since the crisis began suggest that overall the hit to Irish GDP could be bigger than expected.
In its most optimistic scenario, Davy now predicts a contraction of 6% this quarter, bouncing back and growing 1.2% in the full year with the assistance of the multinational sector.
But if the situation gets much worse, GDP could plummet 15% between April and the end of June, ending the year down 3.7%, it said.
However, given hotels, restaurants and wholesale/retail only account for 11% of GDP, the Irish economy may not be as badly hurt by the crisis as other EU countries he predicted.
Last week the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) said it believes GDP could contract by 7% in 2020 if the crisis lasts no more than 12 weeks and recovery begins right away after that.