ECB to launch year-long strategy review in January – Lagarde

New European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde today said the bank would next month launch a major “strategic review” of the bank’s tools and goals, its first since 2003.

Christine Lagarde told reporters the reassessment would start “in the course of January” and aim to be completed by “the end of 2020”.

The review “will turn over each and every stone”, she said, to address “major changes” that have taken …

Inflation rate rises to 1.1% in November – CSO

New Central Statistics Office figures show that consumer prices rose by 1.1% in November from 0.7% in October on the back of higher rents and mortgage interest repayments and education costs. 

This was the highest rate of inflation since June of this year.

The CSO said that housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel prices rose mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments as well as an increase …

US and China agree ‘deal in principle’ on trade

The White House has reached a “deal in principle” with Beijing to resolve the 17-month US-China trade war, according to a source briefed on the trade talks

The White House was expected to make an announcement later today, the source said.

“The written agreement is still being formulated, but they have reached an agreement in principle,” the source said.

No details were immediately available.

In an attempt to secure a …

NCC warns cost of public liability insurance impacting competition

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) has warned that the rising cost of public liability insurance is adversely impacting competitiveness.

The body also warns that legal services around the enforcement of commercial contracts in Ireland are both expensive and slow.

The findings are contained in the NCC’s latest Competitiveness Challenges report, which focuses on six key topics: digital economy, infrastructure, cost of credit, human capital, legal services cost and public liability …

Fed holds rates steady, expects moderate economic growth next year

The US Federal Reserve has held interest rates steady and signaled borrowing costs are likely to remain unchanged indefinitely. 

Moderate economic growth and low unemployment are expected to continue through next year’s presidential election, it said.

The decision by the Fed’s rate-setting committee left the benchmark overnight lending rate in its current target range between 1.5% and 1.75%.

New economic projections showed a solid majority of 13 of 17 Fed …

ESRI in warning over corporation tax windfall levels

The ESRI has warned that any reduction in windfall levels of corporation tax will have a significant impact on the public finances, which could require the Government to implement austerity policies. 

Because of this danger, it advises that the windfall portion of the corporation tax take should be set aside to counter any shocks to the economy in the future. 

In its latest quarterly report on the economy, the think-tank has …

US was country’s biggest export market in 2018

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Ireland exported a total €141 billion of goods in 2018 and imported €92 billion worth of goods. 

The country exported over €39 billion of goods to the US in 2018 – its largest export market. It also imported €17 billion from the US last year. 

The second biggest export partner was Belgium, with €18 billion of exports. 

The CSO said that …

US trade offensive takes out WTO as global referee

US disruption of the global economic order has reached a major milestone as the World Trade Organization (WTO) loses its ability to intervene in trade wars.

This threatens the future of the Geneva-based body.

Two years after starting to block appointments, the US will finally paralyse the WTO’s Appellate Body, which acts as the supreme court for international trade, as two of three members exit and leave it unable to issue …

34,000 new homes needed every year for next decade – Central Bank

A study from the Central Bank has found that 34,000 new dwellings will be needed each year for the next decade to keep up with demand.  

The demand for housing comes from a natural increase in the population and more people coming to live in the country. 

At the peak of the boom in 2006, 93,000 housing units were built. 

But following the crash, house construction collapsed and between …

Housing construction activity sees first slowdown since 2013

Activity in the construction sector declined for the third month in a row, the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index from Ulster Bank shows.

Ulster Bank’s Construction PMI showed a reading of 48.2 in November, up from 46.2 in October. Any figure under 50 signals contraction in the industry. 

The November slowdown included a decline in activity in housing, the first one recorded since June 2013, but activity in the commercial sector …