Irish economy stabilising, but challenges remain – Commission

The European Commission has revised downwards its predictions for Irish economic growth for this year and next, mainly due to weaker than expected exports and domestic demand. In its latest Autumn forecast, the Commission predicts that the Irish economy – as measured by GDP – is expected to grow by 0.3% this year, by 1.7% in 2014 and by 2.5% in 2015.

Services sector grows rapidly in October as new business soars

The country’s services sector grew rapidly in October thanks to the fastest rise in new business in over six years. The Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of services sector activity rose for the 15th month in a row to 60.1 in October, up from 56.8 in September.

That was far above the 50 mark that separates growth in activity from contraction and was the second-highest reading this year after August’s …

Euro to strengthen further in 2014 – EU

The euro will appreciate at a record pace this year and continue to gain in 2014, the European Commission said today, potentially complicating the euro zone’s export-based recovery.

ECB interest rate cut talk lifts shares, pressures euro

Increased prospects of a European Central Bank interest rate cut this year sent the euro to a six-week low on Monday and boosted the region’s share markets, which extended gains on robust manufacturing data.

Euro zone factory PMI points to broad-based economic recovery

Euro zone manufacturing activity accelerated in October as new orders increased for the fourth month in a row. However strong competition left factories with little room to raise prices, a survey showed today.

Poor week for Irish banking’ says New Beginning

This week is a “very poor week for Irish banking”, according to an organisation which provides free legal representation for mortgage holders in arrears.

Vincent Martin co-founder of New Beginning said the new insolvency regime “is the only comfort” this week because it will provide “a chance for ordinary debtors to recover”.

New €125m fund for medium-sized firms launched

A new €125m public-private fund for mid-size businesses seeking €2m or more has been announced.

€25m is being provided by the state, with the rest filled by banks and other financiers – including AIB and foreign investors like the European Investment Fund and US insurance subsidiary GoldPoint.

Two-speed housing market evident in CSO figures, as Dublin house prices move up again

The price of property in Dublin has continued to accelerate, figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The latest CSO property price index shows the cost of buying a home in the capital has risen by 12.3% over the past year.

Barclays’ third quarter profits fall 26% on investment bank slump

Barclays said it was co-operating with regulators investigating the possible manipulation of currency trading by major banks, deepening scrutiny of the bank’s practices as it grapples with a slump in investment bank income.

Barclays, Britain’s third-biggest bank by market value, said it was reviewing its foreign exchange trading “covering a several year period”

Early start for home renovation scheme

The introduction of the new tax incentive for home improvement work has been brought forward from January 2014 to tomorrow.