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News : International Last Updated: Mar 9, 2011 - 5:46 AM


Markets News Afternoon: Bundesbank says Germany will grow 2.5% in 2011; Manufacturing orders rise; France was biggest trading partner in 2010
By Finfacts Team
Mar 8, 2011 - 4:54 PM

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Outgoing Bundesbank president, Prof. Axel Weber, speaking at a press conference in Frankfurt today, March 08, 2011.

Germany: The German central bank, the Bundesbank, said today that that an improvement in domestic demand and sustained exports results in a forecast of 2011 economic growth of about 2.5% in Europe's largest economy.

"We expect growth of around 2.5% this year," outgoing Bundesbank president Axel Weber said as he presented the bank's annual results in Frankfurt.

The German government has forecast growth of 2.3% following an expansion of 3.6% in 2010, after the economy dipped 4.7% in 2009.

France was Germany’s most important trading partner in 2010: Destatis, the federal statistics office reported today that goods to the value of €152.4bn were traded between Germany and France in 2010 (imports and exports). France was Germany’s most important trading partner again in 201and was followed by the Netherlands, ranking second with a trading volume of €132.0bn and the People’s Republic of China, ranking third with a foreign trade turnover of €130.2bn.

In related news Tuesday, German manufacturing orders rose by 2.9% in January, on strong domestic demand, the economics ministry said Tuesday.

"Building on an already strong level of orders, industry is starting into the new year with a reasonable rise in orders," the ministry said in a statement. Despite "strong fluctuations in single months, manufacturing orders stay on a clear upward trend," the statement added.

The January rise was led by a 4.5% increase in domestic orders, while overseas orders rose 1.6%. Orders from the Eurozone gained 2.3%, in a positive signal of recovery.

Revenue Defaulters: In the 3-month period to 31 December 2010, there were 62 settlements accepted, which fall to be published. The settlements in these cases have been agreed and paid by the respective taxpayers and total €20.97m.

A concrete firm paid interest tax and penalties of €7.6m.

Gleeson Concrete, Pamdohlen House, Dooradoyle Road, Co Limerick made the settlement for underdeclaration of corporation tax, VAT and PAYE.

Of the 62 published settlements 31 were for amounts exceeding €100,000; of which 7 exceeded €500,000 and 2 of that 7 exceeded €1,000,000.

Of the 62 settlements:

  • 2 settlements totalling €0.59m relate to Bogus Non-Resident holders
  • 10 settlements totalling €8.28m relate to Revenue investigations into Offshore Funds and
  • 8 settlements totalling €1.63m relate to Revenue’s Single Premium Insurance Products Cases.

The published settlements reflect a portion only of all Revenue audits and investigations concluded in the 3-month period to 31 December 2010. The total yield from Revenue audit and investigation programmes settled in the period 1 October 2010 to 31 December 2010 was €116.1m.

Defaulters lists

"They (bankers) are definitely pushing up the food prices... financial speculation is one of the key factors that's driving those high prices at the moment," Murray Worthy, policy officer at the World Development Movement told CNBC why bankers are driving up food prices including flour used to make pancakes:

ESRI: The Economic and Social Research Institute said in a report today that some 5.4% of Irish households were considered over-indebted in 2008. The risk of over-indebtedness varied widely for different groups. It rose to 12% among households in the bottom income decile,  24% in households headed by someone who was  unemployed,  23% among lone parent households, and 22% among local authority tenants.  Almost 25% of over-indebted households were found to be ‘consistently poor’ compared to 4% among the rest of the population. Job loss, illness and drops in wages/hours were common triggers for over-indebtedness with 40% of over-indebted households experiencing a significant drop in income during the previous 12 months. Income shocks of this type increased the risk of over-indebtedness independently of income level.

Jobs: 120 new jobs were announced today by the financial services company Acorn Life. The positions will include sales, administration and IT support services, and will be available across its nine offices nationwide.

The company, which has its head office in Galway, employs about 300 people.

In other jobs news, the Carpetright chain is to close seven of its 25 outlets in the Republic with what it termed the 'potential' loss of 19 jobs.

The UK company says it cannot specify which branches are set to close until it completes a period of consultation with staff.

Retail: Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the Irish retail sector, today released the results of an industry-wide survey, which found that retailers remain pessimistic about the trading outlook. Some 56% of respondents rated the prospects for their business over the three months March-May as poor or very poor, some 27% rate it as average and 17% rate it as good for this period.

Commenting on the survey, Retail Ireland director Torlach Denihan said: "Retailer's confidence in their own businesses is weak. Some 56% of respondents rated the prospects for their business over the three months March-May as poor or very poor, some 27% rate it as average and 17% rate it as good for this period.

"67% of respondents rate the overall current business environment as poor, 23% rate it as average and 10% rate it as good. Just 7% of respondents are more confident about their business than they were three months ago, 60% are less confident and 33% of respondents report similar levels of confidence.

"Only 3% of respondents expect employee numbers to increase, with 43% expecting to reduce employment in the next three months and 54% expecting numbers to remain unchanged."


The survey also found:

Future prospects for Overall Business Environment: 70% of respondents rate the prospects for the overall current business environment in the period March-May as poor, 20% rate it as average and 10% rate it as good.

Sales Outlook: 53% of retailers expect sales to decrease over the three months March-May, 31% expect sales to stay the same and 16% expect sales to increase during this period. This is a deterioration on the September survey.

Customer Numbers: 13% of respondents expect slightly more customers over the three months March-May, 40% predict static customer numbers and 47% predict fewer customers during this period.

Profitability: Some 53% of respondents expect the profitability of their businesses to decrease over the three months March-May, 37% expect it to stay the same and 10% expect a slight increase.

"Urgent action is needed from the incoming Government to help revive the retail sector, restore consumer confidence and protect the 240,000 jobs in the industry. Since the start of the recession there has been an enormous fall in consumer spending, but the cost of running a shop has hardly fallen at all. Reforms are needed to reduce key business costs, such as rent, labour costs and commercial rates, and to improve access to credit.

"We welcome the commitment by the incoming government to legislate to remove upward only rent review clauses from existing leases. The review of the Joint Labour Committee system under the agreement with the EU/IMF should be brought to a speedy conclusion. We look forward to hearing more about the new government's intentions to improve the flow of credit to SME retailers and other SME businesses. Any revenue from property taxes should be used to fund a major reduction in commercial rates,"
concluded Denihan.

The new Government of course cannot perform miracles.

A look at how tweets are impacting commodities trading, with CNBC's Kate Kelly:

US Markets

In New York Tuesday, the Dow rose 121 points or 1.00% to 12,211.

The S&P 500 added 0.92% and the Nasdaq advanced 0.84%.

Live US Indices

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rose 0.13% Tuesday.

In Dublin the ISEQ has dipped 0.37%.

CRH which accounts for about 27% of the Dublin market's capitalisation, is down 0.06%; Elan has fallen 0.23% and FBD which reported 2010 results today has fallen 2.97%

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for April delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $105.01 per barrel down 43 cents from Monday's close. In London, Brent for April is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $113.43.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.3909 and at £0.8606.

Gold

Gold is trading at $1428.50 per oz in New York.

The Finfacts Gold Page

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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