What is 'Celtic Tiger'

Celtic Tiger is a nickname for Ireland during its boom years between 1995 and 1997, when its economy was growing rapidly, and its gross domestic product (GDP) averaged approximately six percent a year. The person credited with coining the name, Celtic Tiger, is Kevin Gardiner, in a 1994 investment report for Morgan Stanley about Ireland’s economy.1

Breaking down 'Celtic Tiger'

Celtic Tiger is a variation on Asian Tiger, alluding to Asia's economic growth. And, since the time of Ireland’s second boom in 2004, marking the country’s resurgence on the world stage, the press occasionally has referred to Ireland as “Celtic Tiger 2” and “Celtic Tiger Mark 2.”2

Ireland's Economic Journey

Miraculously, Ireland jumped from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the richest in only a matter of years. Ireland’s first boom was in the late 1990s when investors (many of them tech firms) poured in, drawn by the country's favorable tax rates—some of which were as much as 20-to-50 percent lower than those of the rest of Europe. Other reasons for the economic uptick include a rise in consumer spending, construction, and business investment; social partnerships among employers, government and trade unions; increased participation by women in the labor force; long-term investment in domestic higher education; targeting of foreign direct investment; an English-speaking workforce; and membership in the European Union (EU), which provided transfer payments and export access to the Single Market. This boom ended in 2001 with the bursting of the internet bubble.

A Second Boom

The second boom, in 2004, was largely the result of Ireland opening its doors to workers from new EU member nations. A rise in housing prices, continued investment by multinational corporations (MNCs), growth in jobs and tourism, a revitalization of the information technology industry, and the United States’ own economic recovery all have been cited as contributing factors for Ireland’s 2004 comeback. But by mid-2007, in the wake of the growing global financial crisis, the Celtic Tiger had all but died.

Why Tiger, and Why Celtic?

The tiger is a symbol for power and energy all over the world; but this is especially true in Asia, where the tiger is linked with the power and mightiness of kings. The tiger is also associated with passion, ferocity, beauty, speed, cruelty, and wrath. The "Celtic" part of the nickname denotes Ireland as being one of the Celtic nations.


1https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/. Accessed May 6, 2018.

2https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/oct/07/ireland, The Guardian, 7 October 2004. Accessed May 6, 2018.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Irexit

    Irexit refers to Ireland's potential exit from the EU.
  2. Lion economies

    A nickname given to Africa's growing economies.
  3. Four Asian Tigers

    The Four Asian Tigers refer to the high-growth economies of Hong ...
  4. Tatra Tiger

    A nickname or colloquial term for the central European nation ...
  5. Pacific Rim

    The Pacific Rim refers to the geographic area surrounding the ...
  6. Bubble

    A bubble is an economic cycle characterized by rapid expansion ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Story Behind The Irish Meltdown

    Once a lesson in national renewal, Ireland is learning that success can be fleeting. Learn the story behind Ireland's crumbling economy.
  2. Taxes

    Ireland Economics: 3 Troubling Similarities to Greece

    Discover how recent political changes in Ireland could compromise years of balance sheet improvements and economic growth, risking a Greece-like calamity.
  3. Investing

    Tiger Global Making a Major Bet on Billionaire Leon Black

    Chase Coleman's hedge fund is investing heavily in Apollo Global, private equity company of billionaire Leon Black.
  4. Investing

    Where International Real Estate Is Booming

    Which country has the hottest property market right now? The answer will undoubtedly surprise you.
  5. Insights

    The Healthiest Emerging Markets in 2015

    2014 was a rough year for several well-known emerging market economies. This year is likely to be better for a select few.
  6. Insights

    Irish Finance Minister to Fight Apple's EU Tax Bill (AAPL)

    The European Commission might have to wait awhile to collect the 13 billion euro ($14.4 billion) it says Apple owes.
  7. Investing

    Julian Robertson's Tiger Mgmt Sold Apple and Google, Bought Adobe in Q1

    Robertson was one of several hedge fund managers to sell off Apple stock in the first quarter.
  8. Insights

    What Causes Bubbles?

    A look at how asset bubbles are formed according to different schools of thought.
  9. Taxes

    What Countries Get For Their High Taxes

    Are there advantages to having the highest taxes in the world? Let's take a look at what the citizens in these countries get for their money.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What lessons did the tech bubble crash give to investors in the Internet sector?

    Learn how investors contributed to the dot-com bust and how Internet services and investing has changed since the market ... Read Answer >>
  2. How much of a diversified portfolio should be exposed to the metals and mining sector?

    Learn what criteria investors use to determine what percentage of their diversified portfolios should be exposed to the metals ... Read Answer >>
  3. How does inflation affect the exchange rate between two nations?

    Countries attempt to balance interest rates and inflation, but the interrelationship between the two is complex and can influence ... Read Answer >>
  4. A lot of retirement projections seem to assume an 8% rate of return. Is this realistic?

    Many financial advisors would feel that an 8% rate of return is too high, and are more likely to work with 4-5% estimated ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Economies of Scale

    Economies of scale refer to reduced costs per unit that arise from increased total output of a product. For example, a larger ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
  3. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
  4. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  5. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  6. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
Trading Center