The Irish economy is predicted to grow at a slightly higher rate than previously expected, according to the first quarterly Central Bank bulletin of the year.

The forecast of 2.1 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) is a revision on the 2 per cent growth anticipated by the bank's last bulletin.

An increase in consumer spending and business investment have been highlighted as major contributory factors.

The reports suggests that consumer spending is likely to grow by around 1 per cent this year, thanks to greater public confidence in the jobs market.

Unemployment is also expected to drop from 13.2 per cent last year to 11.9 per cent this year.

'While these are welcome developments, deficit and debt levels remain very high and further consolidation is needed in coming years to put debt firmly on a downward path and secure sustainability,' the report warned.

A key place in any discussion on job creation in Ireland must be reserved for entrepreneurship, and the conditions it needs if it is to properly flourish.

'Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-up businesses in the first five years of their existence,' said Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton at a recent event. 'Entrepreneurs are the heroes of the economy, creating businesses, jobs and growth from which the rest of us benefit, and Ireland has some amazing entrepreneurs, but not nearly enough.'

Such a glowing admission is encouraging, and one would hope that the government pay heed to a list of recommendations presented at The Entrepreneurship Forum this week.

A report put forward by the forum contained 69 recommendations in all. They included:

Speaking on the report's list of recommendations, Frank O’Keeffe, partner-in-charge of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said: 'The recommendations have struck a balance between short term wins to kick start new businesses and longer term incentives for entrepreneurs to keep their businesses and jobs in Ireland – both of which are critical to build a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem across the island.'

Jobs Expo is delighted to announce that DoneDealJobs will be the headline sponsor for Jobs Expo, Dublin 2014.

A sister site of - Ireland's largest classifieds website - DoneDealsJobs aims to offer an easy-to-use platform and a much more affordable method of recruiting for all companies, from small local businesses to large global companies. DoneDealJobs gives prospective employers unparalleled access and reach to find the perfect candidate.

'We're extremely pleased to have DoneDealJobs as the sponsor of our event,' said Jobs Expo event organiser Beth Rees. 'We feel that the company's aims are very similar to our own in that we want to bring high-quality job opportunities to as many people as possible. We believe that the sponsorship really is a perfect fit for both companies.'


Goodbody Stockbrokers has predicted that Ireland will be the third-fastest growing economy in Europe for 2014.

The stockbroking firm estimates that gross domestic produce will increase by 2.6 per cent. The firm’s optimistic forecast is based on emerging trends in 2013.

‘The phrase “the devil is in the detail” is particularly apt when looking at indicators of the health of the Irish economy,’ said Goodbody economist Dermot O’ Leary.

‘A casual glance at GDP growth data over recent years would suggest that the economy, after a sharp contraction in the 2008-2010 period, recovered in 2011 and faltered again over the 2012/2013 period.

‘This does not tell the full story. It is true to say that Ireland's recovery is slow and protracted, but the GDP data hide some more encouraging trends in 2013.’

Mr O’Leary cited a high level of investment in the domestic economy as a strong sign of recovery.
Though the aircraft sector experienced a contraction last year, overall investment increased by a record-breaking 17 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013.

Ireland enjoyed a net growth of over 5,000 jobs in 2013, an Enterprise Ireland report has announced.

The government job creation agency's end-of-year report recorded over 18,000 new jobs. However, taking the number of job losses (12,591) into consideration, the jobs surplus was 5,442.

Drop in unemployment

The announcement follows on from the Central Statistics Office's December report, which showed a drop in the unemployment rate to 12.4 per cent - representing a three-year low.

While the CSO's figures were subject to criticism from some who pointed out that there were fewer people signing on as a direct result of rising emigration levels, Enterprise Ireland's job creation figures lend greater credence to the government's claims of a continued economic recovery.

'Huge credit is owed to all at Enterprise Ireland for delivering these results,' said Jobs Minister  Richard Bruton. 'This is the second year in a row that employment in Irish exporting companies has shown significant growth, after several years in which jobs were shed.'

Following on from a recent Cent announcement that the unemployment rate in Ireland had hit a three-year low,

The Irish tourism industry could create as many as 8,000 jobs in 2014, according to Fáilte Ireland.

Confidence in the industry is high given the nationwide success of The Gathering initiative. As a result, some 68 per cent of tourism operators had a positive outlook on the year ahead (compared with just 48 per cent this time last year).

Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, claimed that the industry could play a major part in Ireland's economic recovery:

'Crucially, when it comes to job creation, the sector can reach those parts that other industries don’t. With €100m invested in Fáilte Ireland initiatives in recent years, including the new Wild Atlantic Way, and an overall increase in overseas visitors anticipated during 2014, tourism is well placed to deliver additional revenue and employment to many areas outside the major metropolitan hubs.'

Visitor numbers to Ireland in 2013 were up 7 per cent on the previous year and over half of the businesses surveyed by Fáilte Ireland saw the creation of more jobs. Yet the agency suggests that there is no room for complacency as we head into the New Year.

'When we look at the next 12 months, it’s clear that the tourism industry is gearing up to reap the benefits of further growth, said Quinn. 'As they face this prospect, Fáilte Ireland will pay its part in ensuring the sector does what it needs to do as we build on the recent momentum in performance: develop greater international demand; deliver more compelling consumer experiences; get the most out of digital media; and continue to provide authentic experiences at competitive prices.'

For many people the new year represents a chance to start afresh, but going by recent reports, the Irish manufacturing sector will be happy to maintain the significant progress it's made of late.

That's because the sector recorded further growth in December - the seventh month in succession. The latest Investec purchasing managers index (PMI) show that the monthly index rose to 53.5 in December from 52.4 in November.

The continued growth has been attributed to a spike in demand from the US, UK and China. According to Investec Ireland chief economist Philip O'Sullivan the 'positive momentum in the manufacturing sector in H2 2013 is likely to persist into the new year.'

Consumer Spending

Elsewhere, Retail Ireland has predicted that 2014 will see a 1.3 per cent rise in consumer spending - the first increase since the start of the recession.

'The recovery in the sector is fragile and Government must ensure that no extra costs or unnecessary regulations are imposed as recovery takes hold,' said Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam. 'Keeping costs under control is essential if we are to create new jobs. At the height of the boom many costs, including wages, spiralled out of control, we cannot allow this to happen again. Many retailers remain in survival mode and pay expectations need to reflect economic realities.'

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