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First Budget surplus for State since 2007 as ‘lost decade’ took toll on national purse

First Budget surplus for State since 2007 as ‘lost decade’ took toll on national purse

The State eked out a Budget surplus of €50m last year, its first since 2007.

The latest financial data shows rising tax revenues offset a 7.5pc surge in the wage bill of Government employees to €22.2bn, or 27pc of total spending.

Data from the Central Statistics Office released yesterday showed how the wage bill for …

Trade surplus drops by 12% in February – CSO

Trade surplus drops by 12% in February – CSO

New preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office show the volume of exports decreased by €604m, or 4%, to stand at €13.22 billion in February compared with January.

The CSO also said that imports increased by €265m, or 4%, to €6.925 billion.

This resulted in a decrease of €868m – down 12% – in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to …

EU gets green light for US trade talks

EU gets green light for US trade talks

EU countries gave initial clearance yesterday to start formal trade talks with the United States, EU sources said, in a move designed, but not guaranteed, to smooth strained relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The European Commission has sought clearance for two negotiating mandates – one to cut tariffs on industrial goods, the other to make it easier for companies to …

Ireland records the highest start-up figures in 13 years

Ireland records the highest start-up figures in 13 years

An average of 71 companies were set up every day in Ireland during the first three months of 2019.

This is despite Brexit uncertainty and concerns about a slowdown in the global economy.

The largest number of companies was founded in the professional services sector, according to figures from business information company CRIF Vision-Net.

The construction sector also reported a modest …

€8.6bn invested in Irish office space since 2013

€8.6bn invested in Irish office space since 2013

Almost €8.6 billion has been invested in Irish office property over the past six years, according to a report from Savills.

It said that low interest rates and a rapid growth in services-based employment has driven demand for office space in Ireland, particularly in Dublin.

The report found that more than 1.4 million square meters of Dublin office space has traded hands …

High costs pose threat to business competitiveness – NCC report

High costs pose threat to business competitiveness – NCC report

The National Competitiveness Council has warned that rising rents, the increasing cost of labour, and a high marginal tax rate pose possible threats to the competitiveness of businesses in Ireland.

Its Cost of Doing Business in Ireland report also cautions that above European Union average interest rates, the cost of business services, and the price of credit all pose a …

Female board representation here passes 30% mark

Female board representation here passes 30% mark

The gender composition of boards in Ireland has passed the 30% female representation level, a 7% increase since 2017.

New research conducted by EY shows that the average gender composition of boards now comprises 31% women and 69% men.

But in spite of the increase, just 35% of companies say their organisation has taken appropriate measures to address the causes of any …

Dublin 7th most expensive place in the world to build

Dublin 7th most expensive place in the world to build

Dublin is the seventh most expensive place in the world to build, with average construction costs at $3,245.10 per metre squared, a new report shows.

The International Construction Market Survey, from global professional services company Turner & Townsend, shows that San Francisco takes the top spot in 2019 as the most expensive city in which to build.

Dublin is …

Insurance fraud crisis is costing jobs, says top judge

Insurance fraud crisis is costing jobs, says top judge

Former High Court president Nicholas Kearns has expressed frustration at the slow pace of insurance reform, saying the country risks reputational damage if the claims culture is not tackled.

He is baffled that a dedicated Garda unit has not been set up to prosecute fraudsters, and called on insurers to publicly commit to reducing premiums if award levels do come down.

Safe-haven Euro zone bonds dented by Brexit but buffered by ECB

Safe-haven Euro zone bonds dented by Brexit but buffered by ECB

Germany’s 10-year bond yield edged up on Thursday as a no-deal Brexit was avoided for now but held firmly below zero percent thanks to a signal from the European Central Bank that it will do all it can to fight low economic growth and inflation.

European Union leaders early on Thursday gave Britain six more months to leave the …

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