Unemployment figures due plus Enterprise Ireland results

Business diary of the week: Euro zone and Irish retail sales to be published

Monday

Indicators: Irish pension coverage (2019); Euro zone services and composite PMI (Dec), PPI (Nov); UK services and composite PMI (Dec); German retail sales (Nov), services and composite PMI (Dec); US services and composite PMI (Dec).

Tuesday

Indicators: Irish unemployment (Dec), retail sales (Nov); Euro zone retail sales (Nov), inflation (Dec); UK new car sales (Dec); German construction PMI (Dec); US exports and imports (Nov), factory orders (Nov).

Meetings: Enterprise Ireland 2019 end of year results announcement (Nuritas, Dawson Street, Dublin 2); PetroNeft EGM (Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4).

Wednesday

Indicators: Euro zone business and consumer confidence (Dec), economic, industrial and services sentiment (Dec), consumer inflation expectations (Dec); UK Halifax House Price Index (Dec), labour productivity (Q3); German factory orders (Nov).

Meetings: Bord Bia launch of annual Performance and Prospects Report 2019/2020 (The Thinking House, Bord Bia’s Insight Centre, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 1); Pendulum Summit (Convention Centre Dublin); IDA 2019 annual results launch (IDA, Park Place, Hatch St Upper, Dublin 2).

Appetite for export

The immediate aftermath of Christmas is an unlikely time to talk about food but there is an unavoidable appetite to do just that at Bord Bia.

On Wednesday the Irish Food Board will launch its Export Performance and Prospects report, setting out 2019 figures as well as its outlook on market prospects for 2020 - this all comes, of course, at the beginning of a year in which the industry will remain consumed by further Brexit developments.

According to Bord Bia, some €4.5 billion or 37 per cent of all food and drink exports went to the UK in 2018.

Early last year as the UK's departure attempts remained in the grip of political turmoil, the Irish Government was looking firmly to market diversification for produce.

While that was achieved in many sectors, food and drink trade remained heavily reliant on the UK and was the most exposed to Brexit.

A survey carried out by the organisation in the middle of last summer found almost all Irish food and drink companies claiming to be ‘Brexit-ready’.

At the same time over two thirds (68 per cent) said they were uncertain what impact they might experience as a result, a question mark that still looms ahead of future negotiations on trade.

Separately, Bord Bia’s Meat Marketing Seminar 2020 will take place on Friday following months of particular upset regarding the future of Irish beef.

Pendulum Summit 2020

Every year the annual smorgasbord of business conferences begins in earnest with a little star appeal when the Pendulum Summit awakens the community from its December downtime.

In typical fashion, this year’s Dublin event mixes the obvious blend of business and celebrity (Lord Alan Sugar) with the less so (survival expert Bear Grylls).

A self-described “business and self empowerment summit”, it claims to attract thousands of chief executives and other corporate leaders eager to kick-start the New Year in positive fashion.

The two-day 2020 event does not disappoint on paper at least - it will also welcome Stedman Graham, the best-selling leadership author and partner of Oprah Winfrey; and entrepreneur Molly Bloom, author of the eponymous memoir Molly's Game.

Dublin is its flagship event and is now in its seventh year. According to its founders Frankie and Norma Sheahan, it has grown from an initial 600 odd delegates to more than 7,000 last year.

Thursday

Indicators: Irish industrial production (Nov); Euro zone unemployment (Nov); German industrial production (Nov), exports and imports (Nov).

Friday

Indicators: US non-farm payrolls (Dec), unemployment (Dec), average hourly earnings (Dec), government payrolls (Dec), wholesale inventories (Nov).

Meetings: Dublin Chamber Audience with Irish Ambassador to the US Daniel Mulhall; Bord Bia Meat Marketing Seminar 2020 (Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare).