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Ireland September 2017

Published: Sep 12, 2017
  • The value of mergers and acquisitions in Ireland has fallen 65% during H1 following stricter restrictions places on firms in the US which makes tax inversion much harder. 
  • The OECD has given Ireland one of the highest ratings internationally on tax transparency.  Ireland, Norway and Mauritius had the highest ranking achievable which was ‘compliant’.  Australia and Germany were about 6 who were ‘largely compliant’.
  • Ireland exported €116.9bn worth of goods in 2016 which saw €59.7bn go to the EU, €30.2bn to the US, and €13.3bn to the UK.  Growth sectors in Irish exports were in electrical machinery, appliances, apparatus and organic chemicals.  Exports to the UK dropped 4% in 2016.
  • The first six months of 2017 saw Ireland increase its imports from the UK by 7%.  Ireland is on course to record a trade surplus for 2017 at record levels. 
  • Business sentiment increased during the summer in a survey from KBC & Chartered Accountants Ireland.  Q2 sentiment rose to 118 which was the best reading in six quarters.  It is also the 4th consecutive quarterly improvement. 
  • Ireland is the best country globally for FDI for the 6th year in a row in terms of high-value investment. 
  • July saw retail sales increase by nearly 12% with shops and bars leading the way, along with car sales.  The welcome rise was led by car sales who reported a 7% increase for the month.  However overall, retail prices fell 3.5% for the year to July which is the biggest decline in 7 years.  This is due to the fall in Sterling as one-third of imported consumer goods into Ireland come from the UK.  Sectors reporting decreases were books and newspapers & furniture and lighting. 
  • An annual survey by the AA shows that the average cost of running a family car for one year stands at €10,671 which is a drop of 1.6% on 2016 prices.  The decrease comes as insurance premiums have dropped yet fuel prices have risen.  The average family is believed to travel 16,000km per year.   
  • Traffic congestion in Dublin has increased 19% since 2014 and many commuter’s journey’s times have increased by up to 30 minutes. 
  • have advised consumers to fill up on their home heating oil as prices are expected to rise in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which saw some production and refining facilities close down.  Wholesale gas YTD (year-to-date) has increased by 30% already.  
  • The Budget watchdog for the state has issued a warning that there is a ‘realistic possibility’ of the economy overheating over the next few years due to strong growth rates.  Tax revenues for August were €209m below expectations with the total tax revenues coming in at €2.66bn for August.  Income tax receipts were €1.5bn however 1.8% less than targeted YTD. 
  • Ireland has the 4th highest public debt level in the developed world, coming behind only Portugal, Japan and Italy.  The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has warned that Brexit may hit the economy harder than initially thought.  It has asked the Government not to create any extra stimulus in Budget 2018.  

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