Irish Economy: Unemployment falls to 6.0%

28 Feb 2018

The latest Monthly Unemployment release from Ireland's CSO shows a 10bps m/m decline in the unemployment rate to 6.0% in February, its lowest since May 2008.


Irish banks: Mortgage approvals data show strong start to the year

Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) mortgage approvals data released yesterday shows a strong start to the year, with €689m in total approvals seen in January. The January approvals show a +20% y/y increase for the month and were +15.2% higher than the €599m seen in December. The 12 month running total is now at €9.4bn, having registered at €9.3bn for FY17. The total number of approved applications in January was 3,145 which is +15% vs December and +12% vs January 2017. The average value of approved mortgages in January was €219k, a 7.5% increase vs January 2017.

Travis Perkins: FY results

Travis Perkins have reported FY results for year ending Dec 2017. Reported sales, EBIT and EPS were £6,433m, £380m and 110.4p. At a divisional level sales in the General Merchanting division came in at £2,109m for the year, while EBIT for this division was £183m. LFL growth was 1.2% with an acceleration in H2 to 2.5% from negative -0.1% in H1. LFL growth was primarily driven by price inflation. Profit was held back by higher operating costs required to extend the heavy-side network service across the business in England & Wales as well as higher rents, rates, depreciation and costs of opening new branches (+17, +2%). The company notes that “on the whole” significant cost price inflation has been recovered. “In 2018, we anticipate that the mixed market backdrop will continue...the Group will focus heavily on maintaining tight control of the cost base and expects 2018 performance to be similar to 2017”.

Irish Economy: Unemployment falls to 6.0%

The latest Monthly Unemployment release from Ireland's CSO shows a 10bps m/m decline in the unemployment rate to 6.0% in February, its lowest since May 2008. The seasonally adjusted number of persons unemployed was 141,600 earlier this month. This implies that total employment currently stands at 2.22m, which is less than 1% below the all-time high of 2.24m recorded in Q407. Lead indicators such as the employment component of the PMIs suggest that the unemployment rate should further reduce from here, continuing the 1,000bps decline that has already occurred from the peak of 16.0% recorded in early 2012. This has positive implications for a range of Irish plcs, including the banks, house builders and consumer stocks.