Monthly Economic Bulletin

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1 Monthly Economic Bulletin January 2016

2 The Monthly Economic Bulletin The Department s Monthly Economic Bulletin (MEB) provides a monthly update of some of the key developments within the Irish economy across a broad spectrum of sectors. The bulletin also outlines fiscal developments for the State, as well as being a source of the Department s most up-to-date forecasts and providing a snapshot of conditions in some of Ireland s key trading partners. The publication is designed with the aim of being both informative and accessible to a wide readership. The MEB can be used as a research aid or for presentational purposes and is also available online at the Department s website at Table of Contents Page The Economy Economic Growth 2 International Developments 3 External Trade/BOP 4 Personal Consumption/Inflation 5 Labour Market Employment 6 Earnings 7 Sectoral Developments Housing/ Tourism 8 Public Finances Budget Indicators/General Govt Balance 9 Other News 10 Annex 11 January 2016 Page 1 of 11

3 ECONOMIC GROWTH National Accounts National accounts data for the third quarter of 2015 were published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on 10 December The data showed that: Real GDP (seasonally adjusted) increased by 1.4% in Q3 relative to Q2 2015, and increased by 7.0% relative to Q (unadjusted). Looking at the underlying components, exports increased by 12.4% y-o-y in Q3, with imports also up by 18.9% Personal consumption expenditure increased by 3.6% in Q3, and investment was up by 35.8% (both y-o-y). Part of the increase in investment is due to transactions in intellectual property assets. As these assets were imported they did not add to GDP in the quarter, though income from these assets would be expected to positively contribute to GDP going forward. Quarterly National Accounts (year-on-year % changes) 2014 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Personal Consumption Government Consumption Gross Investment Exports Imports GDP GNP Source: CSO Latest Economic Forecasts As part of Budget 2016 the Department published updated macro-economic and fiscal forecasts on October These forecasts along with those of other forecasting institutions are outlined below. 1 Department of Finance Central Bank of Ireland IMF European Commission ESRI OECD Date Oct Oct n/a 2015 Oct n/a 2015 Nov n/a 2015 Dec n/a 2015 Nov See the annex at the back of this report for a full table detailing the Department s most recent forecasts January 2016 Page 2 of 11

4 INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS The United Kingdom The UK economy expanded by 0.4% in Q q-o-q, down from the 0.5% recorded in Q2. Annual HICP inflation was 0.1% in November 2015, up from -0.1% in October Core inflation was 1.2% in November, up from 1.1% in October. Employment grew by 207,000 in the period August to October 2015 compared with May to July 2015, showing an increase of 505,000 y-o-y. The unemployment rate was 5.2% for the three month period August to October The volume of retail sales in the UK increased by 5.0% in November y-o-y and increased by 1.7% compared with October 2015 (sa). The United States The US economy expanded by 0.5% in Q q-o-q according to the final estimate published on 22 December This is compared to a growth rate of 1.0% in Q Annual inflation was 0.5% in November, up from 0.2% in October Inflation was flat at 0.0% on the month (sa). Core inflation increased by 0.2% on the month (sa). US non-farm payroll data was above expectation showing the economy adding 292,000 jobs in the month of December (sa), with the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.0 per cent. The euro area The euro area economy expanded by 0.3% in Q q-o-q and increased by 1.6% y-o-y according to the second estimate. The Commission has forecast annual growth in the euro area of 1.6% in The early estimate of euro area annual inflation was 0.2% in December 2015, unchanged from November. This is the 27 th consecutive month of euro area inflation below 1%. Core inflation was 0.8% in October, down from 0.9% in November. The unemployment rate in the euro area was 10.5% in November (sa), down from 10.6% in October, and down from the 11.5% rate recorded in November The volume of retail trade increased by 1.4% in November y-o-y but was down 0.3% on the month. EXCHANGE RATES AND OIL PRICES The / spot rate was 0.73 in December, up from 0.71 in November, and down from the 0.79 recorded in December The /$ spot rate was 1.09 in December, up from 1.07 in November, and down from the 1.23 recorded in December Brent crude oil was $39.0 in December, down from $46.0 in November, and down from $63.7 in December in January 2016 Page 3 of 11

5 EXTERNAL TRADE External Trade and Industrial Production On a monthly basis, the value of merchandise exports increased by 17% in October 2, and imports increased by 10 % (sa). The value of exports increased by 29% in October y-o-y, and imports increased by 9%. The trade surplus increased y-o-y in every monthly release in 2015 and was up 77% y-o-y in October. On a monthly basis, industrial output decreased by 0.6% in November and increased by 11.3% y-o-y. Output in the modern sector was up 14.0% (y-o-y) in November, with the traditional sector up 7.9%. PMI Data 3 The manufacturing PMI extended its current sequence of growth to 31 months with a five month high reading of 54.2 in December (above 50 indicates an expansion). After recording its fastest rate of expansion since June 2006 in November, the Services PMI continued to show a substantial increase in business activity in December at Both PMIs showed growth in the new orders, exports and employment sub-indices for December. Balance of Payments Current Account A current account surplus of 4.5% of GDP was recorded in Q A merchandise trade surplus of 17,587m was recorded in Q3 2015, with merchandise exports increasing by 25.4 per cent year-on-year. Services exports continue to perform strongly, increasing by 14.7 per cent year-on-year in Q Source: Goods Exports and Imports, as published by the CSO. 3 Source: Services and Manufacturing PMI published by Investec. Note: PMI measures qualitative rather than quantitative responses from purchasing executives related to their expected output and may therefore not mirror trends in output. 4 Research conducted by the ESRI suggests that the current account is boosted by several percentage points by the presence of a small number of plcs which have redomiciled to Ireland, therefore caution must be taken in interpreting the figure. Source: J. FitzGerald, The Effect of Re-domiciled Plcs on GNP and the Irish Balance of Payments, ESRI QEC Spring January 2016 Page 4 of 11

6 PERSONAL CONSUMPTION Headline retail sales, in volume terms, were up by 9.3% in year-on-year terms in November 2015 (sa). 5 Core retail sales (excluding those in motor trades) were up by 8.9% in year-on-year terms (sa). The sectors with the largest month on month volume increases were Electrical Goods (+13.6%), Department Stores (+7.4%) and Other Retail Sales (+4.7%). The number of new private cars licensed for the first time increased by 27.9% (y-o-y) in November. The Consumer Sentiment Index increased to a 10 year high of in November, from in October. The three-month moving average increased marginally to in November from in October. INFLATION Consumer Price Index (CPI) 6 On a HICP 7 (Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices) basis, prices in Ireland decreased by -0.4% on the month and decreased by -0.1% in year-on-year terms in November. Core HICP excluding energy and unprocessed food decreased by -0.3% over the month, and was up by 0.9% in year-on-year terms in November. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased by -0.3% on the month and decreased by -0.2% in year-on-year terms in November. The main sectors impacting on the CPI index over the month were Transport (- 0.20%) due to a decrease in air fares, a reduction in the price of motor cars and lower petrol prices and Restaurants & Hotels (-0.09%) due to a reduction in the cost of hotel accommodation. Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco rose (+0.4%) mainly due to higher prices for cigarettes as a result of an increase in excise duty and Clothing & Footwear ( +0.04%) increased primarily due to a recovery from sales. 5 Source: Retail Sales Index Release, as published by the CSO. 6 Source: Consumer Price Index, as published by the CSO. 7 The HICP measure of inflation excludes certain items that are included in the CPI; the most notable of these is mortgage interest and some insurance items. HICP is used for comparison between EU member states. January 2016 Page 5 of 11

7 EMPLOYMENT The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2015 was 8.8% unchanged from November 2015 and down from 10.2% relative to December Live Register data for December shows a (sa) decrease of 1,800 people on the Live Register in the month. Third quarter 2015 Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) data The CSO published the QNHS for Q on November 17 th. Key points from Q3 were: The level of unemployment decreased by 42,500 over the year to Q (-17.0%) and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Q3 was 9.1% down from 9.6% in Q2. There was 1.98 million people in employment in Q3, representing a 2.9% increase (56,000) year on year. In seasonally-adjusted terms employment increased by 0.6% (11,600) over the quarter. The labour force increased by 13,500 over the year to Q (0.6%) due to a positive participation rate effect. The long-term unemployment rate decreased from 6.4% to 5.0% over the year to Q3 2015, with those long-term unemployed now accounting for 54.1% of total unemployment. The youth unemployment rate decreased from 23.2% to 20.7% over the year to Q Latest Labour Market Developments Employment Labour Force ILO Unemployment Rate ILO Participation Rate Overall* Actual Year on Year % Year on Year % Overall* Long Term Q ,926,900 27, , % 6.4% 59.9% Q ,938,900 29, , % 5.8% 59.9% Q ,929,500 41, , % 6.0% 59.9% Q ,958,700 57, , % 5.5% 60.0% Q ,983,000 56, , % 5.0% 60.0% * Seasonally adjusted Source: CSO Focusing on sectoral developments, employment fell in 2 of the 14 sectors over the year. The greatest rate of decline was recorded in the Financial, insurance and real estate activities (-3.2%) sectors. However, these were outweighed by increases in Construction (13.3%) and Industry (5.7%) sectors Employment Change by broad economic sector (% yoy) Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Services Industry (including construction) Agriculture Total Source:CSO January 2016 Page 6 of 11

8 EARNINGS The CSO published Earnings and Labour Costs data for the third quarter of 2015 on the 26 th November The release covers employees in all sectors with the exception of agriculture, fishing and forestry. The key points from the release are: Average weekly earnings increased by 2.7% over the year to in Q from in Q The average work week increased by 0.6% at 32.1 hours in Q from 31.9 hours in Q Average hourly earnings increased by 2.1% in annual terms to Hourly earnings fell by -0.2% in the year to Q in the public sector, with the private sector increasing by 2.8% over the same period. Average weekly earnings in the public sector were in Q compared with in the private sector. Weekly earnings in the private sector were up 3.6% over the year and 0.1% in the public sector. Sectoral Developments Across the economic sectors average weekly earnings increased in 11 of the 13 sectors in the year to Q The largest increases were in the Administrative and support services sector (7.6%), Transportation and Storage (5.6%) and Information and Communication (4.6%) sectors. The largest contractions in average weekly earnings occurred in the Construction (-1.2%) and Public Administration and Defence (-0.2%) sectors. The survey data also show that public sector (including semi-state) employment was 1.2% higher over the year to the third quarter of 2015, at 376,300. Annual Change in Average Hourly Earnings (%) Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Industry Construction Wholesale/Retail; motor vehicle repair Accommodation & Food Services Financial, Insurance & Real Estate TOTAL Total Public Sector Source: CSO January 2016 Page 7 of 11

9 HOUSING On a year-on-year basis, residential property prices nationally were up 6.5% in November 2015, following on from an increase of 7.6% in October. Prices fell by -0.5% nationwide over the month. Dublin residential property prices rose by 1.3% over the month and were up 3.3% year-on-year; properties outside of Dublin rose by 0.2% in November and are up 9.6% year-on-year. The latest Daft House Price Report shows that in 2015 asking prices rose nationally by an average of 8.5% in Prices in Dublin rose by an average of 2.7%; properties outside of Dublin rose by 0.2%. Mortgage approvals a leading indicator of mortgage drawdowns were down -14.1% (year-on-year) in November for house purchases. There were 1,262 new houses completed in November , an increase of 22.4% on the same month in House completions in the first eleven months of 2015 are up 15.1% compared to The Ulster Bank Construction PMI an index tracking changes in construction activity posted 55.5 in November, down slightly from 56.3 in October (above 50 equates to expansion). There were 2,201,100 overseas visits to Ireland during September-November , an increase of 19.2% on the same period a year earlier. The number of overseas trips made by Irish residents during the same period increased by 4.1% TOURISM In December 2015, the CSO published the Tourism and Travel Q release, which revealed: Total tourism and travel earnings from overseas travellers to Ireland increased by 13.5% between Q and Q3 2015, from 2,440 million to 2,771 million. 10 Total tourism and travel expenditure by Irish residents overseas increased by 7.8% between Q and Q3 2015, from 1,559 million to 1,680 million. 8 Source: Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. 9 Source Overseas Travel Release as published by the CSO. 10 Source: Tourism and Travel Release, as published by the CSO. January 2016 Page 8 of 11

10 PUBLIC FINANCES Exchequer Balance Tax revenue of 45,601 million was collected to end This represents a year-on-year increase of 4,319 million (10.5%) and is 3,302 million (7.8%) above profile. Overall net voted expenditure for end-2015, at 42,863 million, was up 1,169 million (2.8%) on profile and up, 639 million or 1.5%, year-on-year. 11 Overall, excluding one-off transactions, the Exchequer deficit recorded a c. 5.2 billion improvement compared to the same period in General Government Balance (GGB) 13 For 2014, a general government deficit of 3.9% of GDP was recorded, which was comfortably below the EDP ceiling of 5.1% of GDP. For 2015, Budget 2016 contained a forecast of the deficit of 2.1% of GDP. After a strong end-year Exchequer outturn, a deficit closer to 1.5 % of GDP is now expected for This is significantly below the ceiling of 3% of GDP required under the EDP. General Government Receipts and Expenditure Forecast 2016 Forecast m m m GG Receipts 64,975 69,405 71,285 GG Expenditure 72,305 73,795 74,050 GG Balance -7,330-4,385-2,765 GGB (% of GDP) -3.9% -2.1% -1.2% Underlying GG Balance -7,325-4,380-2,760 Underlying Balance (% of GDP) -3.9% -2.1% -1.2% Source: CSO, Budget GDPGDP It should be noted that the Expenditure profiles are consistent with the Budget Estimates after taking account of certain technical adjustments relating to the disestablishment of the HSE Vote, reclassification of expenditure arising from changes to the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA) standards, and the transfer of LPT receipts to Local Authorities. 12 Source 13 The general government balance (GGB) measures not just the difference between receipts and expenditure of central government [the Exchequer] but the fiscal performance of all arms of Government (other than commercial state-sponsored bodies), including local government and non-commercial state-sponsored bodies, as well as extra-budgetary funds such as the Social Insurance Fund and the National Pensions Reserve Fund. It is therefore a wider measure of the public finances than the Exchequer Balance (EB). The GGB operates on an accruals basis whereas the Exchequer Balance is a cash-based measure. 14 Figures for GG receipts and expenditure are calculated in accordance with European standard statistical accounting rules. The GGB and underlying balance as a percentage of GDP are based on the September 2015 EDP return. January 2016 Page 9 of 11

11 OTHER NEWS The Department s Budget 2015 booklet is available on the Department s website at Electronic copies of Stability Programme Update April 2015 can be accessed here: An electronic copy of the National Reform Programme is available on the Department of the Taoiseach s website: Copies of CSO releases can be downloaded from Information on Central Bank statistical releases can be downloaded from Details of forthcoming statistical releases, including the IMF s advance calendar can be found at: Details of the Commission s Autumn 2015 forecast can be found at: Details of the ESRI s Winter Quarterly Economic Update forecast can be found at: https://www.esri.ie/publications/quarterly-economic-commentary-winter-2015/ QUERIES AND COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION TO: Aideen Morrissey Department of Finance Upper Merrion Street Dublin 2. Phone (01) or GENERAL QUERIES AND COMMENTS TO: Press Office Department of Finance Upper Merrion Street Dublin 2. Phone (01) or January 2016 Page 10 of 11

12 ANNEX Department of Finance s Economic Forecasts to Economic Output (% change) Real GNP Real GDP Nominal GDP Underlying Components of GDP Personal Consumption Government Consumption Investment Exports Imports Change in Inventories (contribution to GDP growth) External Balance Current Account (% of GDP) Price Developments Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices GDP Deflator Labour Market Developments Employment % Change Unemployment Rate (QNHS basis) Public Finances Underlying Balance (% of GDP) Underlying Primary Balance (% of GDP) General Govt Debt (% of GDP) Source: Department of Finance Budget 2016 January 2016 Page 11 of 11

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