This Week: National Construction Summit and Tech Summit 2018

Results due from Apple, Merck, Pfizer, Aon and Tesla, McDonalds and Trinity Biotech

MONDAY

Results: McDonalds.

Indicators: Euro-zone loan growth (Mar); German retail sales (Mar), inflation (Apr).

TUESDAY

Results: Trinity Biotech, Mondelez, Merck, Apple, Groupon, Pfizer, Under Armour.

Indicators: Irish manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers' index) (Apr), unemployment (Apr); UK net lending to individuals (Mar), mortgage lending (Mar), manufacturing PMI (Apr); US manufacturing PMI (Apr), vehicle sales (Apr).

WEDNESDAY

Results: Avis Budget Group, Kraft Heinz, Mastercard, Molson Coors Brewing, Spotify, Tesla.

Indicators: Euro-zone manufacturing PMI (Apr), GDP flash (Q1), unemployment (Mar); UK construction PMI (Apr); German manufacturing PMI (Apr);

Meetings: ECB non-monetary policy meeting; National Construction Summit (Citywest Conference Centre, Saggart, Co Dublin); NERI Seminar Dublin: Ireland's private pension system: the gender dimension (INTO Learning Centre, Parnell Square West, Dublin 1).

Confusion is a constant fixture on the question of how many houses are actually being build in Ireland. Despite substantial growth, building rates remain among the lowest in the EU on a per capita basis.

The ever-present, if not increasing, problem of housing in Ireland is likely to frame much of the discussion at the 2018 National Construction Summit, billed as the largest gathering of the sector, on Wednesday.

Now in its fourth year, more than 3,000 representatives from major construction companies, developers and property managers are expected to attend and mull over several topics of debate, most notably sustainability, transport, infrastructure, careers and the rental market.

“Economic recovery alongside a major shortage of housing and the rental crisis has made this year’s exhibition more relevant than ever and will provide industry professionals with opportunities to network and learn about some of Ireland’s largest up-and-coming infrastructure and construction projects,” its organisers noted.

There will be about 15 seminars, covering everything from business intelligence, market research, finance and sustainable construction.

The event will be attended by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy and key speakers include Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, UCD economist Colm McCarthy, Bank of Ireland economist Loretta O'Sullivan and Collen Construction managing director Tommy Drumm.

THURSDAY

Results: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Ferrari, Kellogg, Motorola Solutions, New York Times, Revlon, Sotheby's, Xerox.

Indicators: Irish services PMI (Apr); euro-zone inflation (Apr), producer price index (Mar); UK services PMI (Apr); US exports and imports (Mar), composite and services PMI (Apr).

Meetings: 2018 Tech Summit (Cork City Hall); First in Dublin Chamber's "Political Leaders Series" breakfasts, featuring Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin Chamber, Clare Street, Dublin 2).

The blend of humans and machines. It is a mouth-watering prospect for a tech conference that promises, for the first time, to bring on stage a cyber-psychologist, robot and cyborg, conjuring images of a kind of dystopian Jerry Springer.

In truth, the Tech Summit 2018, by IT@Cork, will be a far classier and less frenetic look at future technologies and how we might expect to fuse with them.

For anybody interested in this space, the idea of artificial intelligence and “bio-hacking” the human body with the next generation of embedded sensors and 3D printed organs are difficult innovations to walk past.

“This year’s conference will ask some interesting questions of the blend between machine and human,” said IT@Cork’s chair Caroline O’Driscoll ahead of Thursday’s event.

“Where is our society going? What technologies will shape our future? Are we ready for it? Do we want to be?”

The conference will also explore digital health and “augmented humans”, industries that will band technology to make healthcare and treatment “more personalised and precise”.

Speakers include Niamh Bushnell, founder of TechIreland; Dr Patrick Kramer, chief cyborg officer at VivoKey; John Hurley, chief technology officer at Ryanair; and Prof Barry O'Sullivan, founding director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Cork.

"We are at a unique point in history, accelerating toward an era of ubiquitous intelligence, where robotics, artificial intelligence and mankind are on a voyage to singularity," said Denis Canty, the event's co-chair. "It may seem like 'us and them' now, but our trust and acceptance will evolve the relationship to one which will seem normal to future generations."

FRIDAY

Results: Aon, Alibaba Group.

Indicators: Irish industrial production (Mar); euro-zone composite and services PMI (Apr), retail sales (Mar); UK car sales (Apr); German composite and services PMI (Apr); US non-farm payrolls and unemployment (Apr).

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