Your business week: Philip Lane’s post-election insights

CSO data on Thursday rounds off year in which house prices have begun to calm

Former Central Bank governor Philip Lane returns to Dublin this week.

Former Central Bank governor Philip Lane returns to Dublin this week.

 

Monday, February 10th

Results: Allergan, Groupon, Steris.

Indicators: Irish vehicles licences for the first time (Jan); US consumer inflation expectations (Jan).

Meetings: Iveagh House Lecture with Marcy Daly, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2).

Tuesday, February 11th

Results: Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Prothena, Under Armour.

Indicators: UK GDP (Q4), industrial and manufacturing production (Dec), business investment (Q4), construction output (Dec); US business optimism index (Jan).

Wednesday, February 12th

Results: Great-West Lifeco; Marathon Oil, Molson Coors, Trip Advisor, Trivago, Tullow Oil.

Indicators: Irish trade statistics (Nov); Euro zone industrial production (Dec).

Meetings: Finance Leadership Summit (Radisson Blu Saint Helen, Blackrock, Co Dublin); Ibec Business Leaders Conference (Convention Centre Dublin); FT/IDA Ireland European Financial Forum 2020 (Dublin Castle).

Not long gone from the centre of the Irish financial world, former Central Bank governor Philip Lane’s return to Dublin this week will see him address a number of events.

Last December, the European Central Bank – of which Mr Lane is now chief economist – took an optimistic view of developments but it nevertheless believes there is enough risk to warrant ultra-easy fiscal policy. This thinking will no doubt crop up at some stage during the week ahead, possibly beginning with Mr Lane’s appearance on Wednesday at the Financial Times/IDA Ireland European Financial Forum 2020 at Dublin Castle.

The event is pitched as bringing international and Irish policymakers, regulators and “thought leaders” to give their take on the economic issues of the day, and of the year ahead. Mr Lane’s views will be of keen interest. Accounts of the December ECB meeting quoted him as saying that data showed continued weak but stabilising euro-area growth dynamics.

“Measures of underlying inflation remain generally subdued, although there were some indications of a mild increase,” he noted.

The previous month, Mr Lane commented on how ageing populations were contributing to downward pressure on underlying real interest rates.

His insights also take on a particular importance in the days immediately following an election and, on Thursday, he will appear at both the Trinity College Philosophical Society and the Royal Irish Academy.

Thursday, February 13th

Results: AerCap Holdings, DSM, Expedia Group, Kraft Heinz, Liberty Global, Norwegian Air, PepsiCo, Yelp.

Indicators: Irish residential property price index (Dec); German inflation (Jan); US inflation (Jan).

Meetings: Datalex EGM (Eastpoint Business Park, Clontarf, Dublin 3); Ormonde Mining EGM (Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15); Women in Leadership Conference (O’Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin 4); 3XE Digital Marketing Conference (Alex Hotel, Fenian Street, Dublin 2); Dublin Chamber AGM Dinner (Convention Centre Dublin); ECB chief economist Philip Lane at Trinity College Philosophical Society and later at Royal Irish Academy event.

With the issue of housing featuring heavily during the election canvas on the doorsteps, Central Statistics Office data on Thursday will round off a year in which, while still climbing, prices have begun to calm.

December’s numbers should continue in a direction that points to some politicial breathing space, although many would argue 2019 is a house price year best left in the past.

The CSO report for November showed that, while values for the previous 12 months rose by 1.4 per cent across the State, it was a dramatic reduction on the growth of 7.2 per cent for the same period in 2018. In Dublin, where the pinch has been particularly painful, average prices declined by 0.7 per cent.

The slowdown in price growth has been widely linked to Central Bank mortgage lending rules and the pick-up in supply, and, for those desperate to buy or upgrade, 2020 is looking a bit more optimistic.

Earlier this month, the European Banking Authority found Irish home and commercial property prices were likely to dip slightly over the next three years in projections that were based on data received from the Central Bank.

Friday, February 14th

Results: Air Lease, RBS.

Indicators: Irish exports and imports (Dec); Euro zone GDP (Q4), employment change (Q4); German GDP (Q4); US retail sales (Jan), export and import prices (Jan), industrial and manufacturing production (Jan), business inventories (Dec).

Meetings: The Future Living Conference (Limerick IT).

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