Europe will face a gas shortage and price spike as soon as the next decade if it doesn’t decide quickly to boost imports from Russia as gas purchases from the US or Qatar fail to match (more…) read more →

The vast majority of global corporates have identified Ireland as a possible or likely location for data-driven investment in the next year, new research has found. (more…) read more →

The vast majority of global corporates have identified Ireland as a possible or likely location for data-driven investment in the next year, new research has found. (more…) read more →

Black market trading is estimated to have cost the economy close to €2.5bn last year.

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Ryanair on Monday reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast after higher passenger numbers offset lower fares and said it would return €800m to shareholders through a share buyback.

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01 Jul 2015
July 1, 2015

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The Irish unemployment rate was unchanged in June from the previous month, as evidence from a new survey also suggested that the rapid rise in the number of jobs is slowing.

CSO figures showed that seasonally adjusted numbers on the live register fell by only 500 in the month, much slower than the declines of 1,000 and 1,200 posted in May and April.

As a result, the unemployment rate was unchanged from May, at 9.7%, but sharply lower than the rate of 11.4% in June 2014.

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Revenue at the world’s 10 largest investment banks rose 9%, year-on-year, to $44.9 billion in the first quarter, as financial market volatility and central bank stimulus measures boosted profits.
Trading in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) divisions, which are particularly exposed to economic conditions, were the outperformers, up 5% on a constant dollar basis, data from industry analytics firm Coalition shows.

Revenues from FICC have slumped in recent years on the back of tougher regulations and low market volatility, that has prompted investment banks to reshape themselves, shedding staff and exiting certain business lines.

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A raft of everyday household expenses, including private landlord rents, public transport, and college registration fees, are soaring above the price levels reached during the boom years, official figures show.

Analysts say that a detailed breakdown of consumer price figures show that the trend in the past year of price decreases for some goods is masking huge price rises of everyday items across the economy. As a result, many prices are now well above levels recorded in 2006.

Headline CSO figures on consumer prices were published yesterday and showed the annual price index tumbled by 0.7% in April, as the costs of buying airline tickets, cars, meat and vegetables, clothing, and furniture all fell.

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AS Mario Draghi secludes himself with Europe’s top minds in central banking this week, he won’t be able to escape one question: What’s next?

After all but promising that he’ll ease monetary policy in June, the European Central Bank (ECB) president must now manage market expectations as banks from Goldman Sachs to Societe Generale speculate whether he’ll go further and deploy large-scale asset purchases in the coming months.

Mr Draghi yesterday opened the first ECB Forum, a gathering of policy makers and academics to be held annually northwest of Lisbon.

What Mr Draghi says this week could provide clues on how he plans to overcome the low inflation that’s threatening the euro area’s return to economic health.

Officials have said they’re working on a package of possible measures for the June 5 policy meeting, including interest-rate cuts and liquidity injections, while holding out the prospect of quantitative easing as a more powerful option.

“An important part of the package will be the accompanying words,” said Francesco Papadia, a former director general of market operations at the ECB and now chairman of Prime Collateralised Securities in Frankfurt.

“If he says that the council has given a first installment of measures and will be ready to do more if needed, especially when it comes to bringing inflationary expectations more quickly toward 2pc, this could give more weight to the easing package.”

Mr Draghi will give a keynote address this morning at the event in Sintra, Portugal.

Big-name thinkers on monetary policy such as Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman and Princeton University’s Markus Brunnermeier will address the getaway.

They’ll be joined by policy makers from International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde to Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem. ECB Executive Board members Vitor Constancio, Peter Praet and Benoit Coeure will chair discussions.

The ECB may use the occasion to elaborate on what Mr Draghi meant when he told reporters on May 8, after leaving rates on hold, that the Governing Council is “dissatisfied” with the outlook for consumer prices and “comfortable” with action in June.

Inflation has been below 1pc since October, less than half the ECB’s goal.

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Euro zone businesses had a solid start to the second quarter of the year with activity picking up at its fastest pace in almost three years, surveys showed on Tuesday, suggesting a broad-based recovery is taking hold in the bloc.

While Germany continued to lead the upturn, businesses in Spain and Ireland grew at their fastest pace since before the financial crisis.

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