New car sales speed up by 1.8% in November – CSO

The number of new private cars licensed for the first time rose by 1.8% in November, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. 

The CSO said that a total of 1,676 new private cars were licensed for the first time, up from 1,647 the same month last year.

Meanwhile, a total of 9,874 used or imported private cars were licensed last month, a rise of 16.3% on the same …

NTMA says it will borrow less next year

The National Treasury Management Agency said it plans to borrow between €10 billion and €14 billion in 2020, down from a target range of €14-18 billion last year.

The NTMA said a pre-funding strategy had given it a projected cash balance in excess of €15 billion.

It said this gives it “significant flexibility” entering 2020 when it faces debt redemptions totalling almost €20 billion.

The NTMA said it will issue …

Republic likely to be in firing line as EU to consider tougher tax haven listing

A group of European Union countries is calling for the bloc to cast a wider net when listing tax havens and to consider imposing stricter sanctions for countries facilitating tax avoidance, according to an EU document and an EU official. The move is likely to spark some fear in Government circles.

The document, prepared by the Danish government, urges a discussion on whether “current criteria provide sufficient protection against tax avoidance …

Changes to flat-rate expense regime pushed out to 2021

Changes to the flat-rate expenses regime have been pushed out to 2021 as the State’s tax collector awaits results of a review by the Department of Finance.

Flat-rate expenses are those that cover the cost of equipment you need for work and Revenue had planned to change how the scheme works

Following parliamentary pressure, Revenue has decided to examine policy in this area. A comprehensive review of the regime …

EU agrees steps towards tighter money-laundering supervision

European Union finance ministers today backed plans for greater powers to combat money laundering after a series of revelations about large amounts of dirty money flowing through European banks.

The EU last year experienced its largest money-laundering scandal when it emerged that €200 billion in suspicious payments were made between 2007 and 2015 through Danske Bank’s tiny Estonian branch. 

Several other cases have emerged since then, the latest involving Malta’s …

Minister to discuss US tariffs on Irish goods

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee, will discuss the imposition of US tariffs on Irish goods at a series of meetings in Washington this week. 

She is due to holds talks on Capitol Hill and with the American Chamber of Commerce. 

In October it was announced that a range of goods from the EU were to be subjected to US duties including Irish butter, cheese, liqueurs and …

Euro zone growth curbed by trade, retail sales slowdown

The euro zone economy grew at a modest pace in the third quarter with a negative impact from trade, while retail sales fell at their sharpest rate this year in October, data showed today. 

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the euro zone was up 0.2% in the three months from July to September.

This was the same figure as the flash estimate released in October and unchanged from the second quarter. 

88% of Irish SME food companies expect revenue growth in 2020

A new survey shows that 88% of Irish food companies expect revenue growth in the year ahead, with 34% of these companies expecting revenue growth of over 10%. 

The SME Irish Food Barometer was carried out by PwC and Love Irish Food.

It also reveals that while companies are optimistic about the growth prospects for their own businesses, they are less certain about the future performance of the economy. 

Almost all respondents …

Euro zone business growth near-stagnant, but some hopeful signs evident – PMI

Euro zone business activity stayed near stall speed last month, with manufacturing seemingly continuing to act as a drag on the bloc’s dominant services industry as well as the economy as a whole. 

Despite some optimistic signs in today’s survey, that picture is likely to disappoint policymakers at the European Central Bank.

In September, the ECB relaunched a €2.6 trillion asset purchase programme designed to stimulate growth and inflation. 


Services sector growth sees strong bounce in November

The country’s service sector growth bounced back strongly last month from a seven-year low as business confidence rose to its highest level since June amid firmer demand from customers, a survey showed today. 

A slowdown in manufacturing activity had threatened to spread in October to the services sector, where a long expansion in new orders weakened to a near standstill. 

But new orders rebounded to a three-month high in November.