Morning business news - January 22

Tuesday 22 January 2013 11.38
Morning business news Brian Finn
Morning business news Brian Finn

LATEST IRISHJOBS.IE SURVEY SIGNALS TURNAROUND IN THE JOBS MARKET - According to a survey from the website Irishjobs.ie, the number of jobs advertised online in the final quarter of last year was up nearly a quarter on a year earlier. While the survey showed that jobs advertised online saw a seasonal decrease in the last quarter of the year - falling by 10% - the figures were up significantly compared with the same time in 2011.

Dr Stephen Kinsella, Economics Lecturer at the University of Limerick, says the results signalled something of a turnaround in the jobs market. Dr Kinsella noted that there were huge gains in the areas of manufacturing and services, with manufacturing up nearly 100%. Employment in the construction sector showed some signs of growth but they were coming from a very low base, Dr Kinsella pointed out. Some sectors - publishing, legal and administration - recorded declines, but overall the results are positive. "Employers' expectations are changing. Employers are thinking about taking people on again,'' he said.

Stephen Kinsella described the possible deal reached overnight on extending the country's debt payment schedule as very significant in terms of a shift in the mood at the European core. "We need to see the detail to determine if it's a better deal or not, for example what interest rates will we pay. It sounds like a very useful deal in the short term as it will make us more assailable in the bond markets, but whether we pay more money depends on the interest rate and inflation. The devil is in the detail," he concluded.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Djisselbloem was named as the new eurogroup President. He called for an end to the speculation about the breakup of the euro zone, saying he had great admiration for the efforts made by Greece. He also said he hoped Ireland and Portugal would be recompensed for their great efforts.

*** Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives say they hope to pass a four-month extension of the US debt limit, to May 19, tomorrow. They do not specify a new dollar amount as such but the move will allow the government to borrow what is needed to meet its obligations during the extension period. The plan allows the House to focus on the March 1 round of automatic spending cuts without worrying about the Treasury's ability to raise more money in the next month or two.

*** The corporation tax bill for Britain's biggest companies fell by 18% last year, despite a rise in profits, a report by PwC shows. Recent revelations about how companies like Starbucks, Apple, Google and Amazon use complex transactions to cut their tax bills have led to calls for an overhaul of the tax system. PwC said that last year's drop in corporation tax payments was not a result of avoidance but was partly because of lower tax rates and fewer one-off payments. The UK corporation tax rate fell from 28 to 26% recently, and the government plans to cut the rate to 21% next year.