Consumer sentiment slips for fourth month in row

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Irish consumer sentiment has slipped for the fourth month in a row in May, making it only the sixth time this has occurred since the beginning of the century, according a new data. The Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index declined to 65.7 for May from 67.8 for the previous month. Joe Brennan has the details.

Digital-banking app Revolut has moved to undercut traditional lenders by offering Irish customers higher yielding savings accounts, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy. The company is launching a new instant-access savings feature on its platform which will enable Irish-based customers earn up to 3.49 per cent interest a year on their savings.

Currently, only six companies – Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Aramco, Alphabet, Amazon and Nvidia – are members of the trillion-dollar club worldwide. UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt aspires for the UK to be the world’s next Silicon Valley. He asserted that “it’s a big dream but we can definitely get there”. Chris Horn has a look at how likely this is.

One of the biggest hotel operators in Co Kerry is “positive but cautious” about the trading outlook for this year, after posting record revenues in 2023, writes Ciarán Hancock. Speaking to The Irish Times, Michael Brennan, managing director of Killarney Hotels Ltd, which operates three properties in Kerry, including the five-star Europe Hotel & Resort, said that this year’s performance could be “slightly down or a hold at best” when compared with 2023. “If we end up with revenues of €32 million this year we’ll be very happy,” he said.


Cantillon says that paying a mortgage into your 80s has its pros and cons and that while It’s been a tough few years for John Lyttle, the Offaly-born chief executive of fast-fashion company Boohoo, his recent share options will go a long way to allay that.

If we want to do better and build safe AI systems – and we should – then the best way to get there is simply to forge ahead: build the systems and offer their services to users, iterating and improving them along the way, argues Tyler Cowen.

Sarah Cosgrove is a marine scientist with a background in marine ecology, environmental impact assessments and marine spatial planning. She is also the founder of Restore Innovation, which has developed a pioneering system to help ORE (offshore renewable energy) developers integrate nature-inclusive designs into their planning processes. Olive Keogh reports.

When it comes to doing budget-friendly smartphones, Google has a good track record. The company’s Pixel line, while not perfect in the past, has been honed over the years to make it a decent alternative to some of the expensive Android flagship smartphones out there, writes Ciara O’Brien in her tech review. The newest addition, the Pixel 8a, follows the same path as its predecessors, removing a few features that aren’t critical to shave the necessary euro off the price, but keeping the ones that you really need to make this phone useful.

At Google’s Mountain View headquarters this week, a man clad in a rainbow-hued dressing gown emerged from a giant coffee cup to give a vibrant if somewhat surreal demonstration of the company’s latest achievements in generative artificial intelligence (AI). Madhumita Murgia reports.

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