Economic outlook improves, housing slowdown, and Dublin Airport ambitions

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk


The outlook for the Irish economy has improved but high prices will continue to pose a cost-of-living challenge for households, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said in its latest economic outlook. Eoin Burke-Kennedy read the report, and he analyses what it says about Ireland’s economic growth too.

The ESRI report comes as CSO data showed retail sales for all businesses rose by 0.7 per cent in the month, and by 3.6 per cent in the year since February 2022, Colin Gleeson reports. Stripping out car sales though, there was a monthly volume decrease of 0.1 per cent in February.

Staying with the economy, asking prices for homes in Ireland declined by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of the year, the first time that prices have fallen nationally between January and March since 2013. However, the latest Daft.ie housing market report indicates that despite some improvements, as Ian Curran reports, the pace of supply to the market continues to show signs of slowing.

People travelling through Dublin Airport last year endured long queues, and dirty conditions. Now, the DAA, which manages the airport, has pledged to cut waiting times at security to 20 minutes, and, as Barry O’Halloran reports, a host of other improvements.

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US housing minister Michael Gove has described public safety as continuing to be “threatened” by companies like Kingspan, in a letter to the Irish firm. Colin Gleeson reports.

A High Court action by the Pensions Authority against a company linked to the collapsed Dolphin Trust has been settled. Under the settlement, Wealth Options Trustees Ltd is to retire in the next 12 months as trustee provider over small pension scheme funds used to invest in the former Dolphin Trust, which collapsed resulting in Irish investors being owed more than €100 million.

US-headquartered business process outsourcing company SupportNinja is to create 50 jobs in the next three years at a new centre of excellence it has established in Cork. Ciara O’Brien has the details.

Ciara also reports that tech giant Amazon has officially opened its Startup Loft in Dublin to help support early-stage tech entrepreneurs.

In her column, Sarah O’Connor highlights the disappearance of many support staff in the office, and what that means for workers today.

Two companies registered in Ireland are at the centre of a landmark lawsuit against Binance in the US where regulators allege that the crypto asset exchange routinely breached trading rules, destroyed documents and failed to implement effective anti money laundering controls. Ian is monitoring the case.

Mediahuis, the Belgian owner of the Irish Independent, is seeking redundancies at its Irish operation. Barry has the details.

Barry also reports on the Irish Government’s bid to become the home of the EU’s anti-money laundering agency.

It’s the most expensive school in the country, and it just got even more pricey. Gordon Deegan reports on Nord Anglia’s hike in fees.

Just 10 per cent of contracts handed out by Government departments in 2021 contained green criteria despite a commitment to make it mandatory, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency. Colin has the details.

In Commercial Property, Ronald Quinlan reports that Marlet Property Group has agreed a €384 million financing facility with AIG and Activate Capital to fund the construction of more than 1,100 apartments in Dublin, while a portfolio of investment properties in Dublin is on the market for €16 million. Meanwhile the building that houses Dylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social is up for sale for more than €7 million.

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