IRISH BOSSES SEE NO ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT UNTIL 2014 - Irish chief executives say they see no significant upturn in the economy happening until 2014. Out of a group of 365 of Ireland's corporate bosses, who are attending the annual CEO forum in Dublin today, two thirds of them say consistent strong growth in economic output here will not return until the year after next. Just 21% of the country's bosses are optimistic enough to envisage that scenario for next year.
Enterprise Ireland is one of the organisers of that event. Its chief executive Frank Ryan says that while uncertainty has become the norm for the world economy, Irish companies still managed to grow their level of exports by 12% last year and managed to grow overall world market share. Mr Ryan says that the Department of Education and Skills and other government agencies are putting a strong focus on technology and science as these areas are a growing source of employment and jobs for Ireland. He says that Enterprise Ireland is an agency ''in a hurry'' and it has introduced up to eight new initiatives to get more jobs on the ground. These include schemes to attract overseas entrepreneurs here and a new competitive start-up fund for emerging tech companies.
MORNING BRIEFS - The European car market will shrink by 8% this year according to South Korean manufacturer Hyundai. While it thinks global car sales will be up overall by almost 6%, European sales will remain in decline. That view is backed up by the news that Ford is to close a plant in Belgium and a new collaboration between Peugeot and General Motors, where both companies are looking to cut their manufacturing costs in Europe by €0.75 billion.
*** Online payments company Yapstone will establish its European headquarters in Drogheda and the move is likely to see up to 120 jobs created. The niche Yapstone has targeted is rental payments. It operates the website rentpayment.com which collects over $5 billion in payments by credit, debit card and electronic cheques for landlords in the US.
*** The US Federal Reserve took no major policy action after the latest monthly meeting of its open markets committee. That is the equivalent of the European Central Bank's governing council which meets each month to decide on interest rate policy and other matters. The Fed noted that consumer spending has strengthened slightly and that the housing market has shown further signs of improvement.
*** After a better than expected set of quarterly results, Facebook shares added 19% last night to just over $23. That is still a long way off the $38 flotation price when the company debuted on the Nasdaq in New York in May but a big move in the right direction.