cso Archives - Desmond Gibbons & Co.

Macroeconomic Scoreboard shows just four breaches of EU thresholds – CSO

Ireland has breached EU limits on four key tests of economic stability, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. 

The Macroeconomic Scorecard, compiled by the CSO, is part of a system introduced by the European Commission during the financial crisis to flag imbalances in member state economies. 

The number of breaches is down from the high of 10 breaches in 2010 and 2011 and the CSO said it is seeing continuing improvements.

Ireland is out of step with European limits when it comes to house price inflation, private and government debt levels and our international investment position. 

However, Ireland is way ahead of European norms when it comes to unemployment, growth in labour costs and exports. 

Irish government debt, at 63.6% of GDP, remained slightly above the EU threshold of 60% last year, while the deflated house prices indicator – which measures inflation in the housing market – recorded an 8.3% annual change, above the 6% EU threshold. 

Private sector debt, at 223% of GDP, continued to breach the EU threshold of 133%. 

But for the first time since the lead up to the economic crisis, the combined total of Irish owned debt – households and Irish non-financial corporations – was below the EU threshold.

This trend continued in 2018 with the combined total of Irish owned debt making up less than half of the total private sector debt, the CSO said.

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4,920 new homes built between April and June – CSO

4,920 new homes built between April and June – CSO

There were 4,920 new homes completed between April and June, according to the CSO, an 11.8% increase year-on-year.

More than half of those – 2,834 – were part of a scheme, which is classified as a development of two or more houses.

That figure is 2.6% higher than in the same three months of 2018.

Almost 760 apartments were built in the period, up 55.6% year-on-year. Meanwhile there was a 15.5% increase in single dwelling builds, which stood at 1,328 in the quarter.

The figures are based on ESB connections, which may also include older homes that are reconnected.

To counter this the CSO says it uses additional information from the ESB, as well as data from other sources.

It also notes that the figures currently do not cover the growing student accommodation sector, which is treated as a commercial rather than residential connection by the ESB.

The CSO said there were 329 ‘bed spaces’ completed for students in the second quarter, with 6,691 completed since the same period of 2016.

Dublin accounted for 31% of all new dwellings

During the three month period 1,546 dwellings were completed in Dublin, with a further 1,233 completed in the mid-east. Together they accounted for more than half of all new dwellings.

Meanwhile Naas was the Eircode with the most new dwellings in the quarter, with 204 completions registered.

The CSO said the number of ghost estates – many of which were left unfinished after the financial crash – continued to fall, with the number of previously finished dwellings in unfinished housing developments down almost 22% year-on-year.

It said these types of units now made up only 2.4% of all ESB domestic connections, compared to 21.7% in 2014.

The CSO data also shows a 5.8% fall in the average size of new dwellings between the first half of 2018 and this year.

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14.1% of Irish households have income above €100,000 – CSO

14.1% of Irish households have income above €100,000 – CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that median gross income for households stood at €45,256 in 2016.

The incomes ranged from a low of €32,259 in Donegal and €34,800 in Leitrim to a high of €66,203 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and €58,795 in Fingal.

Meanwhile, households in Malahide had the highest median income of €78,631 of all 41 towns in Ireland with a population of 10,000 or over.

Celbridge had the second highest at €64,877 while Maynooth was third at €64,529.

The towns with the lowest medians were Longford at €29,224, Enniscorthy at €31,049 and Ballina with €32,779.

The CSO said its figures show that 62.6% of Irish households had a gross income of less than €60,000 in 2016, while only 14.1% had an income above €100,000.

The CSO noted that in 26.6% of households, social welfare payments made up more than half of the income.

Social welfare payments to people of working age made up more than half of the income in 13.7% of households while the state pension formed the majority of income in 12.9% of households.

Today’s CSO report also found that household incomes are impacted by factors such as gender, general health, education and the place and type of work undertaken.

Included in the findings from the CSO’s Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland figures is the fact that the highest median earned income in 2016 was for the ICT, Scientific & Recreation sectors at €37,037.

The CSO also noted that about four euro in every ten earned by residents of Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal came from the Public Service, Education and Health sector.

It also found that households who were owner occupiers with a mortgage had the highest median income at €68,149 in 2016.

Households renting from a local authority had the lowest median income at €25,202, compared to households renting from a private landlord, who had a median income of €41,695.

And owner occupiers, where the house is owned outright, had a median income of €37,733. Most pensioners fall into this category, the CSO said.

Meanwhile, average rents made up more than 33% of household disposable income for tenants in South Dublin, the highest proportion in the country.

The lowest was 21.1% in Longford and compares to the state average of 29.

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Rate of inflation falls to 1% in May – CSO

Rate of inflation falls to 1% in May – CSO

The annual rate of inflation eased to 1% in May from the seven year high of 1.7% hit in April, new figures show today.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office figures show that consumer prices fell by 0.1% on a monthly basis in May.

The CSO said that May saw higher rents and mortgage interest repayments as well as an increase in the price of electricity and gas.

Prices in restaurants and hotels rose on the back of higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food, while education costs increased due to higher third level education expenses.

But May also saw small falls in the price of motor insurance premiums and a cut in prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care and other personal effects.

Tthe cost of non-durable household goods, furniture and furnishings and household textiles were also lower last month.

Consumer prices have been broadly flat here since 2012 despite Ireland being the European Union’s best performing economy for the last four years.

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3.3% rise in goods handled – in and out – of Irish ports

3.3% rise in goods handled – in and out – of Irish ports

New figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal that Irish ports handled 55.1 million tonnes of goods last year, an increase of 3.3% on the previous year.

Total goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to 18 million tonnes, a slight increase of 0.8% when compared with the previous year.

A total of 37.1 million tonnes of goods were received in 2018, an annual increase of 4.5%.

The CSO noted that Dublin port accounted for 59.3% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and 47.8% of the total tonnage of goods handled in 2018.

The routes between Dublin and three UK ports – Holyhead, Liverpool and Milford Haven were the busiest routes for inward movement of goods last year.

The Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Liverpool routes were also the busiest routes in terms of goods forwarded, the CSO said.

It also said the number of vessels arriving in Irish ports increased by 3.4% to 13,264 in 2018, while the gross tonnage of these vessels rose by 8.8% to 264.4 million tonnes.

Today’s data is compiled from returns made by harbour authorities, state companies and a number of other harbours.

These ports include Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Dun Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross, Cork, Waterford, Shannon Foynes and Wicklow – which are all state companies.

Also included are harbour authorities at Arklow, Bantry Bay, Kilrush, Kinsale, Sligo, Tralee and Fenit and Youghal. Ports at Castletownbere, Greenore, Killybegs and Rosslare Europort also feature in the CSO figures.

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Average weekly earnings up by 3.4% in Q1 – CSO

Average weekly earnings up by 3.4% in Q1 – CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that average weekly earnings stood at €769.98 in the first quarter of the year.

This marked an increase of 3.4% from the figure of €744.76 the same time last year, preliminary estimates from the CSO’s Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release show.

The CSO said the highest average weekly earnings of €1,257.47 were recorded in the Information and Communication sector, followed by the Financial, insurance and real estate activities sector at €1,230.21.

The lowest average weekly earnings of €353.67 were seen in the Accommodation and food service activities sector and €511.94 in the Arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities sector.

The CSO also noted that in the five years to 2019, average weekly earnings rose by 10% from €699.67 in the first quarter of 2014 to €769.98 in the first quarter of this year.

All sectors recorded increases in the past five years, ranging from between 21.2% in the Information and Communication sector and 4.6% in the Public administration and defence sector.

Today’s CSO figures also show that average hourly earnings increased by 2.3% between the first quarter of 2018 and and the first quarter of 2019 – rising from €23.40 to €23.93.

They also reveal that average weekly paid hours increased by 1.3% from 31.8 to 32.2.

The CSO also said that average weekly earnings increased by 1.2% across the public sector and by 4.2% across the private sector in the year to the end of March.

Meanwhile, the job vacancy rate at the end of March this year stood at 1%, unchanged from 1% the same time last year.

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Top 5 exporters account for over a quarter of all goods exports in 2017

Top 5 exporters account for over a quarter of all goods exports in 2017

New figures from the CSO show that the country’s five biggest exporters accounted for 26% of all exports in 2017 with the pharmaceutical sector the biggest exporter of goods.

The Central Statistics Office said that the five highest value exporters accounted for over €31 billion of all exports in 2017, while the top 50 enterprises exported 72% of total goods or €87.4 billion of goods.

Today’s figures show that the pharmaceutical sector accounted for 44% of the total value of exports in 2017, comprising €53 billion.

Manufacturing exports were worth €29.4 billion, while exports from the agri-food sector came to €17.9 billion, or 15% of total exports.

Today’s CSO figures also show that a total of 8,614 companies exported their goods in 2017.

There were just 289 large exporters (with over 250 employees) but they accounted for 68% of all exports in 2017.

Meanwhile, a total of 8,300 SMEs exported goods in 2017 with the total value of their exports amounting to €36 billion, or 30% of total exports.

The CSO said this includes 5,081 micro enterprises – businesses with less than ten workers – which exported €7.5 billion of goods.

Cicro enterprises accounted for 59% of exporters and 6% of the value of goods exported, the CSO said.

Meanwhile, the top five importers accounted for €12.9 billion or 16% of total imports in 2017, while the top 50 importing enterprises had imports of €39 billion, or 47% of the total.

The wholesale and retail sector was the largest importer in 2017, accounting for €26.8 billion, or 33% of the total of goods imported.

And the services sector, which includes aircraft leasing companies, imported €26.1 billion (32%) of goods.

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Trade surplus drops by 12% in February – CSO

Trade surplus drops by 12% in February – CSO

New preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office show the volume of exports decreased by €604m, or 4%, to stand at €13.22 billion in February compared with January.

The CSO also said that imports increased by €265m, or 4%, to €6.925 billion.

This resulted in a decrease of €868m – down 12% – in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €6.295 billion in February compared with the previous month.

Today’s CSO figures also show that the unadjusted value of exports for February stood at €12.614 billion, an increase of 21% on the same time last year.

The value of exports in January and February stood at €26.313 billion, up 17% when compared with the first two months of 2018.

The CSO said the biggest rate of growth in seen in exports of organic chemicals, which increased by 68% to €2.870 billion, while exports of medical and pharmaceutical products rose by 9%.

Meanwhile, exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances were 32% higher and exports of office machinery and automatic data processing machines increased by 35%, the CSO said.

On the imports front, the unadjusted value of goods imports in February amounted to €6.356 billion, down 1% on the same time last year.

Imports of other transport equipment, including aircraft, decreased by 20% in February, while imports of food and live animals increased by 14% and imports of medical and pharmaceutical products fell by 37%.

The CSO also noted that exports to Great Britain increased by 16% to €1.224 billion in February on the back of a rise in exports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.

Exports to Great Britain accounted for 10% of total exports in February of this year.

Meanwhile, imports from Great Britain were up 19% to €1.642 billion. The main increases were in the imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials and Machinery and transport equipment.

Imports from Great Britain were 26% of the value of total imports in February.

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Jobless rate falls to 11 year low of 5.4% in March

Jobless rate falls to 11 year low of 5.4% in March

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate fell to an 11-year low of 5.4% in March from a rate of 5.6% in February.

The CSO said the seasonally adjusted number of people who were unemployed stood at 131,300 in March, a decrease of 6,200 when compared to March last year.

Today’s figures show that the unemployment rate for men was 5.4% in March, down from 5.9% the same month last year, while the the jobless rate for women was 5.5% – down from 5.7% last year.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted youth unemployment rate was 13.4% last month, a decrease from 13.8% in February.

The jobless rate has fallen from a financial crisis-peak of 16% in 2012, when the country was midway through a three-year international bailout.

It had provisionally dropped as low as 5.1% last year but the series has since been subject to a series of quarterly revisions by the CSO.

The unemployment rate is now almost two-and-a-half percentage points below the current euro zone average of 7.8%.

Employment increased in 10 of the 14 economic sectors over the year in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The largest rates of increase were recorded in the administration and support service activities with employment levels rising by 12.6%, while numbers employed in construction rose by 7.9%.

Commenting on today’s figures, Pawel Adrjan, economist at global job site Indeed, said the trend in unemployment is continuing on its downward trajectory and means that employers are going to find it increasingly challenging to recruit talent.

“The country is also drawing on inward migration to fulfill open roles with 57% of employment growth in the past year coming from non-Irish nationals, and nearly half of that coming from outside the EU,” the economist said.

A review of the top 10 jobs searched for by non-EU nationals on Indeed looking to come to Ireland shows a strong interest in opportunities in the technology sector.

Tech roles accounted for six out of the ten most popular jobs, with positions for civil engineers and doctors also making the list.

“If the trend in unemployment continues then inward migration will become an increasingly important source of talent to supplement the domestic labour supply,” Mr Adrjan said.

He also noted that low unemployment and high demand from employers for staff is helping support solid growth in pay. Pay growth has now accelerated to around 4% a year.

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