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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_node_status::operator_form() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::operator_form(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/ on line 14.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_api_filter_handler::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/date/includes/ on line 578.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_price::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of uc_product_handler_field_weight::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/ubercart/uc_product/views/ on line 61.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/ on line 48.
  • strict warning: Declaration of semanticviews_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/semanticviews/ on line 232.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/includes/ on line 653.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/ on line 25.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/finfacts/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.


(August 2012) FDI -- foreign direct investment -- is no longer a jobs engine in Ireland. The total full-time permanent employment in the internationally tradeable goods and services sectors in December 2011 was 281,000 compared with 320,000 in 2000 and 292,000 in 1999. There were 144,000 employed in the foreign-owned export sector in 2011 - - down from 166,000 in 2000. Last month, IDA Ireland, the State inward investment agency, said that firms it grant-aided, created 6,000 net new jobs in 2011 - - the best performance since 2002. The official unemployment total was 309,000 in the first quarter of 2012 - - 14.8% of the workforce.
(August 2012) Ireland’s manufacturing industries were reported this week to be powering ahead of their European counterparts, increasing their output by 3.3% in June compared with May, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain all reported dips in industrial production in June. However, headline data in Irish manufacturing, which is dominated by US-owned firms, can be more flattering than the reality.
(July 2012) Irish Public Service: The secretaries general for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform have been speaking at the MacGill Summer School this week on public sector reform and the economy. TK Whitaker (b. 1916), a predecessor at the then combined Department of Finance had become the secretary in 1955 at the age of 39. The publication in 1958 of Whitaker's 'Economic Development,' which advocated a switch from protectionism to promoting foreign direct investment, is viewed as a landmark in Irish economic history. Sadly, since he retired no Irish civil servant has filled his shoes and publicly at least, spoken truth to power. During the bubble, dissent was squashed in the Department of Finance.
(July 2012) People who haven't been to China tend to fall for the cliché of only needing a small percentage of the 1.3bn consumers to have success there. In 2011 exports (goods and services) to China from Ireland amounted to about €4bn or 2.4% of total exports while exports to India were about €300m or a decimal point. About 94% of exports to China were made by foreign-owned firms. A recent survey commissioned by Accenture Ireland found that 40% of Irish companies surveyed judged their organisations to be highly effective at moving into new geographies, making acquisitions or forming partnerships. However, the facts are that almost two-thirds of Irish indigenous exports are to English speaking countries. There are opportunities in emerging markets in Eastern Europe while outside of niche areas, Asia is a huge challenge. However, it is also a region of huge future growth. By 2020, the number of middle-class households in emerging countries will more than double, overtaking the US and Eurozone with nearly 150m new consumers. The speed and scale of the transition is astonishing. For example, in 2011 Emerging Asia accounted for just 14% of global consumer spending in US dollars. By 2020, its share will be 25% and by 2030 that share will be 40% - - a near threefold rise in just 20 years. In India, meanwhile, 47% of households had income exceeding US$5,000 in 2010; by 2020, 80% will.
(July 2012) Irish companies are keen to benefit from millions of new middle-class consumers in India, China and other emerging markets, but in order to do so successfully they should build on their business-to-business (B2B) strengths rather than attempting to reach these consumers directly. Irish firms are not well-positioned to sell directly to emerging consumers in Asia, but are traditionally strong in B2B sectors such as food products and engineering which form part of the supply chain reaching these millions. Reaching "connected" consumers is another challenge facing Irish organisations; the latter plan to invest in digital channels for this purpose during the next five years, but they are not yet using social media to its full potential.
(July 2012) Irish Economy: Thursday was a busy day for reports on the state of the Irish economy; national accounts for the first quarter of 2012 were published; two State agencies in the enterprise area published annual reports -- one had something to be optimistic about but not much, the other was über-optimistic about some metrics to deflect attention from dismal results and a private exports body declared Google, Ireland's biggest exporter because of the tax-magic of booking end-user revenues generated in other countries as Irish sales and thus exports. An economist at IBEC, the business lobby group said: "The annual figures show that services exports grew by 12% in Q1, which is reflective of the overall strength of the technology sector in recent times," which in fact shows that there is always a market for fiction and spin. Meanwhile also on Thursday, the bailout Troika - - the EU Commission, ECB and IMF- - gave Ireland pass marks on the latest review of the support programme.
(June 2012) Irish Economy 2012: The European Commission has raised questions about the Irish government's policy of cutting the number of public sector workers rather than reducing wages to meet budget targets, at a time when there is discord on the issue among the two parties in the governing coalition.
(June 2012) Ireland is among countries where private sector workers face huge falls in pensions income. In the period 2001-10 in the 34 mainly OECD developed countries, real (inflation adjusted) pension fund performance was a paltry 0.1% yearly on average. Where public pensions are relatively low and private pensions voluntary, such as Germany, Ireland, Korea, Japan and the United States, large segments of the population can expect major falls in income upon retirement. Meanwhile, Irish politicians who have one of the world's best pension schemes, linked to earnings, are presiding over the accelerated death of defined benefit (where there is a guaranteed payout related to earnings) schemes for the minority of private sector workers who have an occupational pension.
(June 2012) Irish Economy 2012: Last week the Government advertised for a chief economist to head up a new unit in the Department of Finance. “Teams of economists, all at masters level or better, are now being drafted in to fill key vacancies in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Finance and the Taoiseach’s Department,” according to secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure Robert Watt. The department expects to hire 29 postgraduate recruits this year, with 17 being brought into the Economic and Evaluation Service of the Department on Dublin's Merrion Street, this week. The chief economist will 'build the Department’s (Finance) profile as a global leader in economic policy development' and he or she (most economists are men) will be tasked to 'build networks with world-class economists in Ireland and globally.' 'Ireland produces world-class economists, but up to now, the linkage with public policymaking has been weak. Some of our best and brightest economists have been bred for export,' Watt said. This is where official delusion collides with reality and scepticism is warranted when vacuous terms such as 'world-class' are liberally used. Even if we did produce what are called world-class economists, this initiative will fail if it's dependent on traditional economists.
(May 2012) Pension funds in traditionally equity-heavy markets such as the UK and Ireland still have the largest equity weightings although they have witnessed the largest falls in equity allocations, mainly driven by a move away from domestic equities. In the UK, average allocations to domestic and non domestic equities fell by 4% (from 47% to 43%) over the last 12 months. In Ireland the current average allocation to equities is 44%, down 6% from last year and down over 20% since 2008.