ECB launches review, keeps policy on hold

The European Central Bank launched a broad review of its policy today that is likely to see new President Christine Lagarde redefine the ECB’s main goal and how to achieve it. 

The European Central Bank has fallen short of its inflation target of just under 2% for years, even after Lagarde’s predecessor, Mario Draghi, launched increasingly aggressive stimulus measures. 

Christine Lagarde told a news conference the review was likely to …

France reaches deal with US on digital tax talks

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France had reached an agreement with the US on the basis for future talks over a global digital tax, at the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) level.

“We had long talks this morning with the US Treasury Secretary and the OECD Secretary General,” Mr Le Marie said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 

“I am happy to announce to you that we have found an agreement …

Costs and competitiveness a key focus for tourism industry

The tourism industry needs to focus on costs and competitiveness as the sector faces into choppier waters in the years ahead.

That’s according to the head of the national tourism development authority, Fáilte Ireland.

Paul Kelly said the industry had to avoid complacency against a backdrop of a softening in demand.

“We absolutely need to keep our focus on competitiveness. There are a lot of cost pressures there. The issue …

Irish tax system best in EU at reducing inequality – ESRI

Research by the Economic and Social Research Institute has found that the Irish tax system does more than any other system in the EU to redistribute income and reduce inequality.

It also found that raising the point at which taxpayers pay the higher rate of tax, or abolishing the Universal Social Charge, would both favour those on higher incomes most.

Ireland has the most unequal share of income in the EU …

ECB to launch review that will redefine its mission and tools

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is set to launch a broad review of the bank’s policy today that is likely to see her redefine the ECB’s main goal and how to achieve it. 

The ECB has fallen short of its inflation target of just under 2% for years despite increasingly aggressive stimulus measures under her predecessor, Mario Draghi. 

ECB rate-setters are not expected to make any policy change this …

Digital tax should be dealt with multilaterally – IDA chief

The chief executive of IDA Ireland has said it is hard to see how a digital tax makes sense.

Speaking to RTE News in Davos at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, Martin Shanahan said Ireland believes the issue should be dealt with on a multilateral basis through the OECD.

His comments came just hours after British Chancellor Sajid Javid signalled that the UK would introduce a digital tax in April.

France …

Home building levels reach 10 year high – Goodbody

21,500 new homes were completed last year, according to new analysis from stockbrokers Goodbody, up 19% on the figure for 2018.

The increase marked the highest rate of growth in a decade and is nearly five times greater than the 2013 trough of 4,575.

However it still sits below the 34,000 units that the Central Bank estimates needs to be built each year up to 2030 in order to meet …

Ireland has fifth largest number of billionaires per capita – Oxfam

A new study has found that Ireland has the fifth largest number of billionaires relative to its population of any country in the world.

The report, produced by Oxfam ahead of the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, claims that with 17 billionaires, most of whom are men, Ireland is mirroring the global trend on wealth inequality.

It says this inequality is now out of …

ComReg cuts 1800 Freephone services costs for businesses

ComReg is introducing measures that will reduce the costs for businesses and charities offering ‘1800’ Freephone numbers to users of their services. 

Calls to 1800 Freephone numbers are free to the caller, but it has been very costly for business and organisations who offer services and helplines over such numbers to provide such services. 

ComReg said this was partly due to high operator-to-operator charges levied by telephone network operators. 

The …

Dublin Port reports strong growth in EU trade volumes

Dublin Port Company has again reported record growth figures for 2019 as trade with the European Union countries experienced strong growth. 

Volumes on Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off) and Lo-Lo (life-on/lift off) services to Continental Europe grew by 10.7%, but UK volumes fell by 0.2%. 

Dublin Port reported growth in unitised volumes (both Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined) of 3.6% to a total of 1.5 million units.  

It noted that over the six …