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||Last Updated: Oct 9, 2015 - 12:32 AM
Jun 4, 2015 - 8:24 AM
Ireland: The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday published a new monthly unemployment report separate from the Live Register. The official unemployment rate was 9.8% in May but up to 440,000 people rather than the 209,700 people who are officially unemployed, are in receipt of some form of public unemployment benefit/welfare support.
Jun 4, 2015 - 7:34 AM
Ireland: While headline data is expected to show that the Irish economy will post the strongest growth in the Eurozone this year, the Irish Fiscal Council today warns of dodgy official forecasts beyond 2016 and the Government's lack of a credible fiscal plan. On Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that the jump in residential and office property market prices are "reminiscent of the bubble period of a decade ago."
Jun 4, 2015 - 3:29 AM
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Wednesday slashed its forecasts for global growth, as it warned that weak investment and disappointing productivity risk is keeping the world economy stuck in a “low-level” equilibrium.
Jun 4, 2015 - 2:55 AM
Irish Public Finances: There was an Exchequer surplus of €641m in 2015 to end May compared to a deficit of €3.5bn deficit in the same period last year. Tax revenue in the first five months of the year was €734m ahead of the Budget 2016 target.
Jun 3, 2015 - 10:46 AM
The Eurozone (EA19) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.1% in April 2015, down from 11.2% in March 20154 , and down from 11.7% in April 2014. The EU28 unemployment rate was 9.7% in April 2015, stable compared with March 2015 and down from 10.3% in April 2014 according to Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.
Jun 3, 2015 - 9:58 AM
Eurozone service sector business activity rose at the slowest pace in three months during May, as growth of new orders moderated and business optimism slipped to a five-month low.
Jun 3, 2015 - 8:22 AM
There is no simple measure of economic progress in Ireland according to an article in the forthcoming Quarterly Economic Commentary of the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute). The change in GDP is now a defective indicator of welfare. While GNP is a much more satisfactory measure as the profits of the significant foreign-owned sector are eliminated, it can also be distorted by the behaviour of redomiciled plcs — typically American companies that become Irish for tax purposes while continuing to be run from the United States.
Jun 3, 2015 - 4:40 AM
The German GDP (gross domestic product) forecast for 2015 has been cut primarily due to the weaker-than-expected Q1 GDP growth that provides a lower starting base for the year. Meanwhile German unemployment dropped in May to the lowest level in 24 years.
Jun 2, 2015 - 7:15 AM
Higher new orders from both domestic and export markets contributed to a further improvement in Irish manufacturing PMI in May according to survey data published Tuesday. However, official data as reported by the CSO last month showed that production had risen 45% in the year to March, boosted by booking by US-owned pharmaceutical firms of overseas production in Ireland for tax purposes — so manufacturing data has to be treated with caution while recognising a genuine rise by indigenous firms in what is termed the 'Traditional' industrial production sector.
Jun 1, 2015 - 10:46 PM
The rate of expansion in global manufacturing production accelerated slightly during May, as companies responded to a modest improvement in inflows of new orders. However, the trend in international trade flows remained weak, as levels of new export business decreased for the first time in almost two years.
Jun 1, 2015 - 10:42 PM
May data signalled a modest acceleration in the rate of expansion of the Eurozone manufacturing sector. The final seasonally adjusted Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers' index) posted 52.2, matching March's ten-month high but coming in just below the earlier flash estimate of 52.3.
Jun 1, 2015 - 3:12 PM
In the overall ranking for the European Commission's Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 (IUS), Sweden is once more the innovation leader, followed by Denmark, Finland and Germany. The fastest growing innovators are Malta, Latvia and Bulgaria, Ireland (see below), the UK and Poland. In Europe, Switzerland, which is not a member of the European Union is the continent's top innovator. In global a comparison, the EU continue to be outperformed by the US, Japan and South Korea.
Jun 1, 2015 - 2:01 PM
On Friday it was reported that GDP (gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the US), shrunk at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with an initial estimate of -0.2%. Also last week, UK GDP was not revised up from an initial weak level of 0.3%; Canada's economy shrunk at a 0.6% annualised pace in the first quarter of 2015 while the Swiss economy contracted 0.2% compared with the previous quarter.
Jun 1, 2015 - 11:42 AM
Education systems are failing to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century, a new study from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Google has found.
May 29, 2015 - 10:13 AM
The growth in the number of Irish mortgage approvals for house purchase fell sharply in April 2015 with the number down on the previous month but up over 11% on April 2014 compared with a growth of almost 41% in Q1 2014. The value of approvals also slowed.
May 29, 2015 - 8:52 AM
Irish land prices remain among the highest in the world and with County Dublin posting the biggest price jump in 2014, the October 2014 Budget cut of the post-economic bust 80% windfall rate on profits from rezoned land to the standard capital gains charge of 33% was a gift by Michael Noonan, finance minister, to speculators who are back in the market.
May 28, 2015 - 8:49 AM
A research note published today by the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) suggests that quarterly national accounts data volatility hinders Irish economic forecasting but the paper avoids referring directly to tax avoidance, which is the main causal factor.
May 28, 2015 - 7:57 AM
IMD, the Swiss business school, on Wednesday announced its annual world competitiveness ranking. As part of its ranking of 61 economies for 2015, the IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC) looks at several aspects of each country as a place to conduct business. Ireland fell one rank (from 15 to 16) while the US remained at the top as a result of its strong business efficiency and financial sector, its innovation drive and the effectiveness of its infrastructure. Hong Kong (2) and Singapore (3) move up overtaking Switzerland, which drops to fourth place. Canada (5), Norway (7), Denmark (8), Sweden (9) and Germany (10) remain in the top 10. Luxembourg moves to the top (6) from 11th place in 2014.
May 27, 2015 - 12:20 PM
FDI (foreign direct investment) into Europe hits a new record with US$305bn invested in 2014 — a 36% year-on-year growth. In the year 43 European countries — including Russia and Turkey — achieved 4,341 projects reaching a 10% growth over 2013 and created 185,583 jobs (+12%). In a poll of global decision makers, 21% of 808 managers named Germany among their top three countries to invest in — a rise of three percentage points over 2014, according to EY’s 13th European attractiveness survey, launched today.
May 27, 2015 - 8:12 AM
The income earnings gap between the world's rich and poor is at its highest level in 30 years in some countries, according to a 330-page report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Meanwhile a paper published this week in the United States shows that inequality has not increased in America's best paying firms in a 34-year period.
May 27, 2015 - 5:55 AM
The US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland have the best higher education systems according to an annual ranking of 50 countries. Ireland is at 18 down from 17 in 2014. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have rankings of 27 and 28, ahead of Italy.
May 26, 2015 - 4:16 PM
Growth of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, down from 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to provisional estimates. The OECD area comprises all the developed economies.
May 26, 2015 - 9:12 AM
Earlier this year Springer, the German publishing group, published The Handbook of Service Innovation, an 858-page compendium of "research contributions, practical examples and implementations, and select cases across several growth service industries including some failed service innovation attempts." It includes an examination of developments in Ireland where economists in the last decade lauded the switch from manufacturing to services as evidence of "moving up the value chain."
May 22, 2015 - 9:01 AM
Irish Economy 2015: While data published on Thursday which showed that 41,300 jobs were added in the 12 months to March 2015, is impressive, the Government has a target of an additional 200,000 net jobs to be added by the end of 2018, which raises a question on which sectors of the economy will continue to be jobs engines. Thursday's data also show that while the official unemployment rate fell to 9.9% in March, the broad jobless rate was at 19%.
May 22, 2015 - 8:47 AM
Irish Export Performance: Irish headline export data seldom fails to impress and in recent times data show that the recovery in the UK economy coupled with an improved exchange rate is benefiting Irish indigenous exports. However, we Irish have a tendency to organise a party based on short-term tidings and ignore the long-term. The bitter reality is that we are a poor exporter.
May 21, 2015 - 11:37 AM
Irish Economy: There was an annual rise in employment of 2.2% or 41,300 in the year to the first quarter of 2015, bringing total employment to 1,929,500. This compares with an annual increase in employment of 1.5% in the previous quarter and an increase of 2.3% in the year to Q1 2014.
May 21, 2015 - 9:36 AM
The Eurozone economy lost growth momentum for a second successive month in May, according to the latest PMI (purchasing managers' index) survey data. However, the survey also showed that the rate of expansion remained sufficiently robust to encourage firms to take on extra staff at the fastest rate for four years. Price indices meanwhile hit three-year highs, adding to signs that deflationary pressures are receding.
May 21, 2015 - 8:20 AM
Minutes released on Wednesday of the April policy meeting of the Federal Reserve indicate concerns about the fragility of the US recovery, which signalled that the expected first rise in the US federal funds rate — the benchmark rate — in June from near-zero levels, will not happen.
May 20, 2015 - 9:13 AM
Only one quarter of workers worldwide is estimated to have stable employment contracts, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
May 19, 2015 - 7:35 AM
On Monday a Greek newspaper claimed that it had a leaked copy of a new proposal from Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, on how to break the standoff between Athens and its creditors. Meanwhile Yanis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister, said he expects an agreement with bailout creditors to take place over the next week or so. However, he said the leftist government would reject any "non-viable" compromise.
May 18, 2015 - 8:04 AM
Short cuts, loopholes and other forms of skulduggery will not be tolerated when the automatic exchange of tax information comes into force, a top official from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has promised Swiss bankers.
May 18, 2015 - 7:17 AM
China-Ireland: The current stopover in Ireland of Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, is the latest in official visits by the leaders of the two countries in recent years. Nevertheless, the economic relationship is on a slow burn while there are opportunities for raising food exports. Meanwhile, Ireland's record in attracting Chinese outward investment has been poor.
May 15, 2015 - 8:14 AM
The European Central Bank president said on Thursday that the current program of bond buying known as quantitative easing or money printing, will not be ended early but he warned that central banks have to be aware of the risk that prolonged low interest rates and bond buying, could lead to financial instability and worsen income inequality.
May 14, 2015 - 8:14 AM
Estonia, Austria, France and Ireland head global alcohol consumption rankings according to a report by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
May 13, 2015 - 11:27 AM
A return to growth in France and Italy helped boost Eurozone economic growth in the first three months of 2015 to its fastest rate in almost two years. For the first time since H1 2010, all four of the Eurozone’s biggest economies posted growth, while Spain, headed the group with a 0.9% growth rate and the German economy slowed to a 0.3% rate compared with 0.7% in Q4 of 2014. And for the first time since the first quarter of 2011, the currency area’s economy grew faster than both the US and the UK’s.
May 13, 2015 - 8:28 AM
Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated a bill to give President Barack Obama authority to fast-track negotiations on key trade deals.
May 13, 2015 - 7:43 AM
The German economy continued to grow at a slightly slower pace while in France GDP (gross domestic product) increased at a faster pace in Q1 (first quarter) 2015. German and French exporters did not benefit from weakness in the euro, as the European Central Bank began its €1.1tn bond-buying program while German industrial production fell by 0.5% in March. In France in Q1 2015, production in goods and services rose by 0.7% after stagnation at the end of 2014.
May 12, 2015 - 7:28 AM
This month Switzerland's financial regulator, Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), rejected the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's appeal against the Burkard family's right to invoke a controversial opt-out clause over the sale of shares in Sika, a Swiss construction industry firm, to Saint-Gobain, a French conglomerate. The family, descendants of Sika's founder, owning just a 16.1% stake but with control of 52.4% of all votes, in 2014 secretly sold their stake at an 80% premium price of CHF2.75bn ($2.85bn) over the market price but Saint-Gobain refused to pay a premium to the rest of the shareholders.
May 11, 2015 - 9:15 AM
US non-financial companies rated by Moody's Investor Services held $1.73tn in cash at the end of 2014, up 4% from $1.67tn a year earlier amid modest GDP growth, Moody's says in a new report. The top 50 holders of cash account for 63% of the total cash pile, or $1.08tn, and entry to the top 50 list now requires $6.1bn in cash. The top five firms held about 25% of the total.
May 11, 2015 - 9:11 AM
A new report, “The NHS: How does it compare?”, from the Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) has found that the UK has fewer doctors, nurses, hospital beds and crucial medical equipment than most other wealthy nations.