Blog Article 12 Mar 2015

IDA announced an ambitious 5 year strategy in February
IDA launched its new strategy, Winning FDI: 2015-2019 this month. The strategy is targeting a 40% increase in FDI in Ireland creating 80,000 new jobs in the economy over the next five years. This will be based on an ability to respond to client's needs efficiently, effectively and ahead of the competition. This will build on the current contribution of IDA clients who provide important support to the economy providing 174,448 jobs, exporting €124.5bn worth of goods and services, spending €22.4bn on Irish goods, services and payroll, and spending €1.4bn on R&D.

Excellent 2014 performance carries through into Q1
Growth came in at 4.8% for 2014 as a whole, the fastest rate in the EU. This excellent performance is being carried through into 2015, with a range of strong economic numbers number out this month. The Investec/Markit PMI’s showed that the Irish manufacturing expanded at its fastest rate since 1999 in February, growing at the fastest rate in the world. Manufacturing has now been expanding continuously for 21 months, with employment growing for 20 months. The services expanded for the 30th consecutive month in February with employment increasing in all sub- sectors, but with financial services employment showing particular strength.

In line with the improving economy the labour market continues to improve with unemployment down to 10.1% in February. The unemployment rate has been falling for 3 years, and is now 5 points below peak levels. Increasing employment is showing up in public finances particularly through increases in income tax returns (+6.8% Jan – Feb year on year). In all returns were up +15.9% year on year for the first two months. Spending remains under control (-2.3% year on year) resulting in ongoing reductions in the deficit.

Europe
While risks remain in relation to the European outlook, the European Commission is expecting all EU member States to grow this year for the first time since the crisis began.  Economic activity is expected to pick up slowly over the year as a result of improving demand, very accommodative monetary policy and a broadly neutral fiscal stance.

Source: Department of Finance, October 2014

Further reading:
Department of Finance Monthly Bulletins: http://bit.ly/1gTymzQ
Central Bank Quarterly Bulletin: http://www.centralbank.ie/polstats/econpolicy/Pages/quarterly.aspx

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