Brexit’s Largest Impact

Uncertainty is the overwhelming feeling that Brexit has brought onto the entirety of the EU. Here in Ireland, we are no exception. The fear of a large economic downturn is looming, and it seems everyone is fixated on what will happen when October 31st comes around.

The Irish economy as a whole was predicted to grow 4.1% in 2019 and forecasted an increase in the GDP of 3.7% in 2020 according to the European Commission. This however was predicted without considering the effect of a hard exit by the UK. A hard exit could bring an economic fall out consisting of lowered income levels, and higher unemployment rates. Experts from the Economic and Social Research Institute suggest that these conditions can lower the intense growth of property prices since the low in 2013. The Central Statistics Office says this growth has been just over 86% within those 6 years. Housing demand is likely to lower, affecting mortgage companies, brokers, and families trying to sell or relocate.

However, the housing industry will likely not be the hardest hit industry from the …

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Pound put on diet, losing weight fast

The price of a pound sterling is based very heavily on what the next few months in the UK hold in regards to Brexit. Currently, the UK is in the middle of electing a new prime minister. As the head of the cabinet and leader of ministers in the executive branch, this person has a significant influence of the political state of the UK. Their actions are bound to affect the price of currency, and already have proven to have done so. 

Within the last week, both conservative candidates who are running for the position of prime minister mentioned that they are both in support of the creation of a hard border in the case that there were to be a no-deal Brexit. Immediately after this debate, the pence dropped significantly in value. 

The pound usually costs around 0.7-0.85 cents to purchase, but as of 16 July you can exchange 90.22 cents for one pound. This is the lowest value that a pence has been in the last 27 years, and is showing trends that indicate the value will continue …

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Irish economy at risk

The National Competitiveness Council, or NCC, is an organization that collects, analyzes, and reports data and statistics about the Irish government. In general, it focuses on comparisons of the growth and sustainability across the European Union. This organization has looked into the sustainability of economic health across a multitude of different scenarios. 

As of late, this organization has noted that the Irish economy is becoming too dependent on a small number of domestic firms that fall within similar sectors of the business market. Although it is always a positive to support your home companies, there are some major issues that may come from this increased reliance. 

To begin, Ireland’s economic dependence has been primarily within the goods and services export sectors. There has been a huge focus on pharmaceutical and chemicals being exported, with around 58pc of total exports in 2018 being in this sector; in 2017 it was at 45pc. Computer services are also dominating the market, making up 43pc in 2018, which was 3pc lower than in 2017. These bulk exports make up a huge part of the …

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Housing and the Changing Demographics of Ireland

In order to solve the housing crisis, policy makers must consider changing demographics and plan for long term methods to resolve the housing crisis. According to Engineer’s Ireland review of housing in the The state of Ireland 2019, projections of future Irish population is increasing in number, age and diversity. The population is expected to grow from 2.78 people in 2017 to between 5.6 to 6.7 million people in 2051. The median forecast was defined as approximately 6.2 million people. An additional 1.48 million people must be housed in the next 32 years.

Future demographic projections are essential in forming adequate long term planning in regard to housing in Ireland. Due to the significant projected increase in population size, there is great demand to increase housing supply and plan accordingly.  The current average size of an Irish household is 2.7 people per home. If the average household size remains the same, the number of homes supplied must amount to at least 548,148 additional units by 2051. This amounts to an average of 15,661 additional housing units must supplied each year …

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June Unemployment Statistics

Ireland seems to have hit as close to full employment as possible as rates stay constant from May to June of 2019. Full employment is a condition of the economy in which every person who is currently able to work and is seeking employment is employed.   

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) recently released their monthly unemployment report which included details in regards to the changes that have occurred month to month in 2019, as well as a comparison between June 2018 and 2019 statistics. According to these comparisons, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from May to June 2019 has stayed at a constant 4.5pc unemployed. On a yearly basis, there has been a significant decrease of 1.4pc; June 2018 was at 5.9pc while June 2019 is at 4.5pc. 

This percentage change shows a significant change in the amount of seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed from 140,200 people in 2018 to 109,700 in 2019, which is a 30,500 person decrease. There are many reasons for a decrease in unemployment including immigration and emigration or businesses and people, the creation of …

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Effects of ending the help-to-buy scheme

The help-to-buy scheme was designed to help first time buyers buy a home. First time buyers are encouraged to buy property through the help-to-buy scheme by refunds of income tax and deposit interest retention tax paid over the last four years. The help-to-buy scheme allows purchasers to claim a rebate  tax already paid of income up to €20,000 depending on the value of the property.

There is a move to end the help-to-buy scheme. This would be detrimental to the housing market. Figures have shown that more than 80% of all first time buyers are relying on the scheme to buy a home.

However, the scheme is scheduled to end at the end of 2019. The government has given no indication of an extension of the help-to-buy scheme.

According to theBanking and Payments Federation, 84% of new property purchases were made by first time buyers with the support of the help to buy scheme. Furthermore, chief economist, Dr Ali Ugur, claimed that the help-to-buy scheme was important for market stability. It was a key component in helping housing supply increase and …

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Energia continues to invest in Ireland

Energia, a Dublin based energy company, parented by the Viridian Group, has recently announced that it will be investing €3 billion in Irish renewable energy over the next five years. These figures show promise of the creation of 200 more jobs directly within the organization. Additionally, there is likely to be a creation of between 3,000 and 5,000 construction jobs, given the sheer amount of huge projects that will soon be under way. 

Many of the promised projects include a focus on the creation of renewable energy. This goes hand in hand with the Irish government’s plans to increase the country’s consumption of renewable energy by making it the most accessible and cost efficient type of electricity generator. The government hopes to increase renewable energy in the electricity market from 30 to 70pc by the year 2020, according to the Climate Action Plan. 

The creation of onshore and offshore wind farms, solar power, hydrogen fuel generation, bio-energy facilities and the smart grid are all huge factors steps towards the fulfillment of this governmental initiative.  

What is most interesting about this …

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Sizing up the UK’s economy

 The UK’s largest independent producer of unbiased statistical data, the Office for National Statistics, has recently released a new report claiming that through their investigations they uncovered that the economy was £26 billion larger than previously indicated. 

This nation’s economy is the fifth largest in the world, behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany. Their economic output usually comes in each year at around $2.8 trillion/ €2.5 trillion according to statistics published by the International Monetary Fund. 

Additionally, the annual gross domestic product growth has been shown to have increased by 0.1 more than what was expected every year since 1997. This 21 year lag in the updating of GDP growth has been a huge factor in the sudden uncovering of the £26 billion in addition funds. 

Although these statistics seem promising, the Office for National Statistics only included data up to a few months after the initial process of Brexit. The data that came after this most likely would have drawn down these figures, making the GDP expansion less significant than previously. 

In recent years, Britain’s GDP has …

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Risks to new social divide due to housing crisis

The burdens of the housing crisis continue to have an effect on everyday life. More homes are being built to slowly reach the immense demand for housing. In the month of March of 2019, more home were built than were sold.

Although more homes are being built, houses are still too expensive for an average couple to buy a first time home. Builders and developers are hoards land, and this keeps prices high. According to economist, Richard Curran, Ireland is headed for another crash. Curran believes there is a bubble in the housing market. Rents are rising too high while cuckoo funds are buying up too many apartments which causes first time buyers to be pushed out of the market. Furthermore, supply of housing is increasing but not enough to keep up with growing demands.

The number of homes are increasing, however these homes are not demanded. The homes built this year are too expensive and in inconvenient locations. Housing prices are likely to severely crash just as they did in the past.  There are fewer homes being sold at …

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Facebook announces own currency

Facebook has recently announced that it will be launching its own currency, with the promise of it being fully operational by 2020. This currency is not exactly classifies as a cryptocurrency, due to the fact that the value of Libra will be backed by a reserve. This is unlike regular cryptocurrencies, whose value is determined by the supply of the currency and other forms of cryptocurrency in the market as well as their individual demands. 

This financial platform is intended to also be regulated by a federation of companies and non-profit organisations through a Swiss foundation.The currency is quickly gaining traction, with investors minimum contribution being $10m. Some companies that have currently invested in this Facebook currency are Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Uber, Spotify and some venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz. 

Facebook is intending to have this currency be distributed through some existing apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. These apps could make it hard to integrate a secure type of funds exchange, and would not provide a viable platform for many businesses to feel comfortable doing business …

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