November Trade & Investment Report
Brian Cotter - Public Affairs Director
The Government's document outlining Ireland's International Tax Strategy (here) is to be welcomed as it provides a clear and accurate picture of our corporate tax regime. The certainty provided by restating Ireland's tax strategy will be welcomed by potential and current foreign investors. This strategy reconfirms Ireland's long term commitment to attracting foreign direct investment to create jobs and economic activity. Ireland's corporate tax regime is open and transparent and the Irish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a competitive corporate tax regime. Ireland should continue to engage on these matters with its trading partners confidently and constructively on matters of vital national interest. The American Chamber will continue to contribute its perspective on these matters to Government as it navigates its way through these complex technical, legal and political multilateral discussions.
Key Economic Indicators
Arrow Direction indicates direction of trend;arrow colour indicates whether trends are perceived as positive (Green) or negative (red).
(f) = forecast
All Irish figures sourced from Central Bank of Ireland Quarterly Bulletin
PMIs highlight quickening pace of recovery
The recovery in the Irish manufacturing sector gathered momentum in October as the rate of growth in new business quickened, encouraging firms to raise output at the fastest pace in two-and-a-half years. Employment and purchasing activity also increased at steeper rates during the month.
The Investec Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) posted 54.9 in October, up from 52.7 in September. Manufacturing production increased at the sharpest pace in 30 months during October. The fifth successive rise in output was substantial, and mainly attributed by respondents to increasing new business. New orders rose for the fourth month running and the pace of expansion quickened from the previous month.
Further positive news came from the Investec Services PMI which saw the fastest rise in new business growth since early 2007. The PMI rose for the 15th straight month to 60.1 in October, up from 56.8 in September. Sentiment strengthened to the highest since February 2007 while new business growth was at its quickest since March 2007.
In addition, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) services value index increased by 0.7% in September 2013 when compared with August 2013 with an annual increase of 2.5% on September 2012. On an annual basis, Administrative and Support Service Activities (+21.8%), Information and Communication (+10.5%) and Other Service Activities (+1.5%) increased when compared with September 2012.
Sources: Investec, CSO
Consumer sentiment improves as expansion continues
The overall KBC Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 76.2 in October, from 73.1 in September. The 3-month moving average improved from 69.4 to 72.0, continuing its upward trend since April. Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland,stated that the survey "hints at an emerging view that the Irish economy is now clearly past the worst even if there is little expectation that dramatically stronger conditions are set to take hold. This easing in fears about the economic outlook seems to have prompted an improvement in the buying climate of late. Spending power is still under pressure but signs of improvement in the jobs and property markets may be making consumers a little more willing to spend."
Source: KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI
Ireland remains a top performer for ease of doing business
Ireland has retained its 15th place ranking for global ease of doing business in 2013. Strong performance indicators for Ireland included protecting investors (6th), paying taxes (6th), resolving insolvency (8th) and starting a business (12th). The top five performers in the index were Singapore (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), New Zealand (3rd), the US (4th) and Denmark (5th). You can read more detail here.
Source: World Bank
Forfás forecasts nearly 45,000 jobs by 2018
Forfás and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs forecast that demand over the period 2013-2018, for high-level ICT skills arising both within the broad ICT sector and across other sectors of the economy, could lead to 44,500 extra jobs. The report, Addressing Future Demand for High-Level ICT
Skills, forecasts the demand for high-level ICT skills up to 2018 within the ICT sector and across other sectors of the economy. It recommends policy initiatives in mainstream education and training, conversion and reskilling programmes, continuing professional development and attracting experienced international talent, including expatriate talent. You can read the report here.
Ireland ranks positively for gender equality
The Global Gender Gap Report has found "definite if not universal improvements" in economic equality and political participation between the sexes in a ranking of 136 countries. Of those countries measured this year and last, 86 improved, the World Economic Forum has found. Iceland ranked first followed by Finland, Norway and then Sweden, unchanged from last year. Iceland has held the top spot for five years in a row. Ireland maintained its position as sixth on the list for a second year. You can read the report here.
Source: World Economic Forum
Acorn - a leading multi-disciplinary marketing agency - has announced that it will grow its headcount from its current level of around 100, to 200 staff over the next five years. In addition to new management, HR, IT and finance roles, Acorn will be seeking creative and digital design, planning, research and campaign production skills in Dublin.
AdRoll, one of the world's largest online targeted advertising platform, has announced it is establishing its European Headquarters in Dublin, creating 100 jobs in the first 12 months with ambitious plans for further staff growth. The Dublin operation will be responsible for Sales, Account Management, Marketing, HR, and Finance across a number of languages and countries.
EtQ, a leading Quality, Compliance, and Environmental Health and Safety Management Software provider, has announced the establishment of its EMEA Headquarters in Limerick with the creation of 30 new jobs. The company will be seeking staff with computer science qualifications and technical sales backgrounds.
Gilt has announced new investment in its operations in Ireland including the establishment of a Platform Innovation Centre in Dublin. 45 software engineering roles will be created in Dublin over the next two years as a result of the new investment, and the company will also continue to add finance and customer service positions in its Limerick office.
Minds + Machines
Leading registry services provider, Minds + Machines, is to establish its core technical operations in Dublin, creating initially up to 25 jobs.
Pearl Street Enterprises
Pearl Street Enterprises (T/A MMP Living) has announced that it plans to create 25 new jobs with the establishment of its worldwide HQ in Dublin. Pearl Street Enterprises is one of the fastest growing Amazon.com marketplace sellers providing products across multiple categories including toys, gifts and housewares. They will be hiring software developers with SQL database and .Net skills as well as
graduates with business background and language skills.
StorageCraft Technology Corporation a global provider of best-in-class backup, disaster recovery, system migration and data protection solutions for servers, desktops and laptops has announced it will open its international headquarters in Cork with the creation of 30 jobs. They are accepting applications for the following areas; IT Support, Marketing and Human Resources, with positions in
other areas advertised in the near future.
Zendesk, a provider of cloud-based customer service software, has announced that it intends to double its Dublin workforce by creating 30 new jobs at its Development Centre and European Data Centre. Zendesk officially launched its first European Data Centre in Dublin in March 2013. The company are hiring for jobs across sales, finance, engineering, customer support and operations.