Ireland Mar 2017
Published: Mar 10, 2017
- Irish Exports reached a record high for 2016 with a value of €116.9bn. However, exports to the UK have fallen by €496m to €13.3bn (4%) as a direct result of Brexit. Imports from Britain dropped by €1.36bn (8%) in figures released by the Central Statistics Office. Electrical exports saw the largest increase at 150%. Exports to the US grew by 12% but were down 0.3% to the EU. The 2016 figure was 4% higher than 2015. Imports into Ireland fell 1% in 2016 YoY, to €69.9bn. The Preliminary Trade Surplus stands at €47.3bn.
- January 2017 saw Ireland’s unemployment rate drop to 6.8%, its lowest in 9 years. Long-term unemployed however saw barely any reduction in 2016. Those who are long-term unemployed (i.e. out of work over one year) account for half of those out of work.
- The National Spatial Strategy plan – called Ireland 2040 - has been revealed by Minister Simon Coveney. Minister Coveney warned that action is required to drive growth to Galway, Cork, Limerick & Waterford. The report conveys that by 2040:
- 49% of Economic activity will occur in Dublin.
- Employment is expected to rise by 25% to 2.5m
- There will be 400,000 post-primary children
- The population is expected to increase to 5.6m by 750,000
- 11 counties around Dublin are expected to become commuter towns
- Computer Science is to be added to the Leaving Certificate curriculum due to growing demand for graduates from this area. Coding is also to be added to a new maths curriculum at primary school level.
- 2016 saw foreign direct investment from China grow to €2.7bn vs just €9.3m in 2015. Ireland is now the 5th largest market in Europe for investment from China.
- Davy’s has revised its projected growth for the Irish economy from 3.75 to 5% as consumer confidence has grown more than expected during the start of the new year. Conall MacCoille of Davy’s also noted that manufacturing output grew by only 0.3% for 2016 due to Brexit.
- Manufacturing output for December 2016 fell 11% when compared to November, and 1.8% down on December 2015. The falls came from the high-tech & pharmaceutical companies. Merrion stockbrokers advised that productivity looks uncertain this year due to Brexit.
- The Government has been urged to get involved with the support and promotion of e-cars. It is expected that by 2020, sales of electric vehicles will not surpass even 7,000 despite Government’s targets of 50,000 in 4 years. Ireland is likely to face a fine of up to €6bn from the EC for not implementing a strategic plan to promote renewable transport. Of the 218,000 new car registrations in 2016, only 619 were electric vehicles. It is expected that at the Transport and Climate Summit, a new target of 20,000 by 2020 could well be achieved with Government support.
- Car registrations for January were down 1.6% when compared with 2016 and is the only fall in January since 2013. However, imported cars grew by 76.7% in January, mainly from the UK due to the fall in sterling. 65.1% of all new cars were diesel. Goods vehicles however grew by 8.1% to 3016.
- Irish shoppers have purchased more goods online from the British high street due to the weak sterling with new figures showing there was a 4% increase in January spending. The UK goods were likely to be shoes and clothes. Overall, shopping online for 2016 has increased by 12.3%. The figures were provided by Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index.
- Enterprise Ireland supplied subsidies to 220 start-up companies in 2016 averaging out at €140,000 each. 28% of these start-ups were female-led, and over 50% of the overall start-ups were outside Dublin. Enterprise Ireland say that companies which have been financially assisted by them are now employing over 200,000 people.
- Monthly minimum wages for Ireland are the 2nd highest in the EU at €1,563 per month with Luxembourg being the highest at €1,999 per month. Holland is in 3rd place at €1,552 per month. Bulgaria is the lowest in the EU, and is amongst 10 eastern European countries whose wages are less than €500 per month.
- The European Commission has upgraded its projection for Irish growth for 2017 to 3.4%. Internal consumption will remain the driving force for the economy.
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