Ibec’s forecasts, Web Summit and Lisbon, and tips for your Christmas finances

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

Christmas shoppers on Grafton Street during the Covid 19 pandemic. Pent-up consumer demand is expected to help boost Irish economic growth next year, according to Ibec’s latest economic forecasts.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Christmas shoppers on Grafton Street during the Covid 19 pandemic. Pent-up consumer demand is expected to help boost Irish economic growth next year, according to Ibec’s latest economic forecasts. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

The Republic’s “resilient” economy will be among the best-performing in the western world this year with GDP growth of 0.8 per cent, before accelerating to export-driven growth of 5.3 per cent in 2021, according to updated forecasts from Ibec, the employers’ lobby group. Mark Paul has the details.

Good news for Paddy Cosgrave as Portugal’s prime minister stands by a deal to grant €11 million a year to host the Web Summit conference in Lisbon. In spite of it being virtual this year and doubts over the viability of the business model in a post-pandemic world. Naomi O’Leary spoke to António Costa.

Foreign nationals in the Republic are over-represented in sectors most severely affected by Covid-19 closures, and are more likely to contract the virus, according to a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

There is huge demand from multinationals “racing to net-zero emissions” for corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable energy developers – both solar and wind – but Ireland is losing out due to cost and other policy barriers, according to KPMG’s global head of renewables. Kevin O’Sullivan has the details.

The planned sale of Mainstream Renewable Power, the wind and solar energy group founded by Eddie O’Connor that focuses on emerging markets, is set to drift into early next year as Covid-19 has made it more complicated to close deals involving assets across a number of countries. Joe Brennan reports

Dutch private equity group Waterland, which took a majority stake in Irish nursing home provider Silver Stream last year, intends to step up its investment in companies here after closing a new €2.5 billion fund. Charlie Taylor spoke to the group about their plans.

Will President Joe Biden be good for Irish trade? The jury is out on that one, says Cantillon.

In our personal finance feature, Fiona Reddan offers some top tips on how to shake up your finances this Christmas.

In Q&A, a reader wonders if giving cash to family for Christmas will leave them with a tax bill. Dominic Coyle offers his view on the issue.

In her weekly column, Laura Slattery looks back on the marketing year, a period when Covid-19 rewrote the rulebook for leading global brands and their advertising agencies.

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