IRELAND 'MORE VULNERABLE TO ENERGY SHOCK' - Ireland's GDP could fall by as much as 7.5% if the world were to experience a sudden oil or gas price rise. A report from Siemens, out today, says Ireland's economy is more vulnerable to price shocks than the US, UK or the rest of Europe.

Siemens looked at future price scenarios for the next 15 years to come up with the figures, which were then evaluated by the ESRI.

Dr Werner Kruckow, chief executive of Siemens Limited, says Ireland depends heavily on imported oil and gas, and GDP would decline more sharply than in other countries if oil and gas prices rose sharply. He says the figures are based on calculation models from the ESRI.

Dr Kruckow says there needs to be a sustainable energy future, maximising the use of renewable energy such as wind and ocean power. He says Ireland should also be integrated into the European, and even global, power grids.


CAPITAL SPENDING DROP 'ALARMING' - According to quantity surveyors Davis Langdon PKS, the Government is underspending by 25% on construction projects, and this could serious consequences for the industry.

Norman Craig, the firm's managing director, says Irish construction continues to be 'on its knees'. He describes the reduction is capital spending as 'alarming'.

As the Government reviews infrastructure spending, Mr Craig calls for a 'balanced' national development plan, including not just roads and transport, but also energy and social infrastructure.


NEWS IN BRIEF AND CURRENCIES - A report on the Irish hotel sector has found that profits in the industry have fallen by 50% since 2007, while room rates have dropped back to 1999 levels.

The euro is trading at $1.2880 and 84.2p sterling.