Archive for the 'Personal Finance' Category

Budget 2017





Employment rose to 1.9m by end of June – CSO

The number of people working in the State had increased to 1.9 million by the end of June, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office, the highest level of employment since 2009.

The number of people at work increased by 31,600 over the year to June, bringing total employment in the country to 1,901,600.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment fell 46,000 to 254,500 – an unemployment rate of 11.5%. This is down from 12% in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, the total number of emigrants has fallen to 81,900, while 60,600 moved into the State.

As a result, the total population has grown by 16,700 to stand at 4.6 million, according to the CSO.

Merrion’s chief economist, Alan McQuaid, described the figures as positive, but pointed out that they weren’t as strong as in recent quarters.

Emigration, he said, had been a contributory factor in bringing down the unemployment numbers but judging by the latest figures, there is more to the drop in unemployment than just that.

“Although the recovery path for the labour market won’t entirely be smooth, we do think that the numbers at work will rise and the level of unemployment will continue to fall over the rest of 2014,” Alan McQuaid said.

“We are looking for a net increase in employment of around 36,000 this year. Furthermore, it does now appear as though the jobless rate has peaked, and we are looking for it to fall back to 11.4% on average this year from 13.1% in 2013, which itself was the lowest level since 2009,” he added.

He concluded that there was a possibility that the unemployment rate could drop below 11% by the end of the year.

The association representing small and medium sized businesses, ISME, warned that jobs will not be created if business costs continue to increase and wage levels are being driven up by ‘unrealistic demands.’

The association called for greater emphasis on cost controls in order to maintain competitiveness.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers described the recovery in the labour market as impressive and more broad-based than before.

However, he pointed to significant differences across generations and geographies.

“Youth unemployment, those between 15 and 24, stands at 26.9%, down from 29.6% in the same three month period last year. That compares to a rate below 10% for those over 35.”

“From a geographical perspective, the unemployment rate is lowest in Dublin, where it came in at 10%, but stands at over 14% in the South East of the country,” he added.

Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist at Investec said the figures pointed to positive momentum in the labour market, but there was a persistent ‘tail’ of issues.

“While a rising population and decline in net outward migration have positive implications for some areas of the economy, we do note a number of troubling trends, such as persistent large outflows in the 15-44 age group while the profile of those migrating suggests that there are a number of skills mismatches in Ireland,” he concluded.

Davy economist David McNamara said the figures provided further evidence that the labour market continued to improve in the second quarter, driven by the recovery in services and the construction sector.

“We expect unemployment to fall to 11% on average in 2014 and to 9.6% in 2015,” he said.

Budget 2013

Here is the Minister for Finance’s speech to the Daíl today:


This wordle shows what Budget 2013 was all about.

Want a quick summary of today’s Budget? Have a look at this infographic from the

What are bonds?

There has been a lot in the news recently about “bonds” and “bond yields”.

The following is an article from the Sunday Business Post that explains what these are.

What is a bond?

A bond is a unit of debt. The bonds we’re all talking about these days are sovereign bonds, or units of government debt. But companies sell them too.

It’s just a contract by which an investor agrees to loan money to a company or government in exchange for a predetermined interest rate and generally for a predetermined period of time (two years, five years, ten years).

Why is it bad when bonds rise?

When we say a bond has risen, we mean the yield – or interest rate – on that bond has risen. Effectively yields and prices move in the opposite direction. A rising bond yield is a falling bond price.

As yields rise, it indicates investors won’t buy that country’s debt unless they get a better return. The higher the level of risk they perceive to their investment , the higher the interest rate which investors demand.

Right now investors fear that if they lend to Italy they may eventually not get all their money back – so they are demanding a higher interest rate to compensate for this perceived risk.

Right. And seven per cent is a high yield is it?

Yes it’s very high, particularly when a German bond is yielding two per cent, which means investors want a five per cent premium from Italy (this is an enormous gap in sovereign debt terms).When yields in Ireland and Portugal hit that level, it was time for a bailout.

OK, so why doesn’t Italy just stop selling bonds for a while until it all blows over?

It might have to, but then it has to worry about how to pay its bills. It needs to repay some maturing bonds later this year and has to raise a hefty €300 billion in 2012.The EU/IMF could offer funds to Italy – but they probably do not have enough in the kitty to bail Italy out for a period of years, as they have done with Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

The full article is available here.

Words of wisdom from the late Steve Jobs

Worth watching.

Back in business! is back in business again.

First post of the new school year. Some of you may be new to the blog and our twitter page.

So what do you need to know?

1. The blog: New content will be posted each week e.g., business and economics news, sample answers for exam questions, worksheets, mind maps etc. Take a look at some of the posts from 2008-2009.

2. Our twitter page: As twitter is now available on the school’s broadband network, you should create your own twitter account and follow sgcbusiness on twitter. The homework you have each day will be posted to the twitter page. You will also see a tweet for any new posts on the blog.

3. Your Google Apps account: You should now have your own Google Apps account.  All handouts given in class and worksheets have been shared and you can find these in the Documents section of your account. Any dates for projects and exams are added to the Calendar.

4. Looking for that website? All websites we use can be found on the delicious page. Each website is tagged. You can search by keyword e.g., insurance, to find all the websites for that topic or chapter.

5. View business and economics videos on our Youtube channel.

6. We also have a Business Library. You can view and reserve any business book or magazine online.

So check the blog and your email account on a regular basis and follow sgcbusiness on twitter.

Never miss a post on the blog by subscribing  to our RSS feed.

If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments section of this post or email mrhannon [at] geralds [dot] ie

Examination Results

Summer examination results are now available by email.

Send an email to mrhannon [at] geralds [dot] ie to get your summer exam result.

Personal Finance Evaluation

The following online survey should be completed by students in 4A1 Personal Finance.

Click here to complete the online evaluation.

We are now on Twitter now has its own Twitter page.

I will be using the Twitter page to post the homework you have each day and to also keep up to date with the latest business news.

Go to our twitter page now and add it to your favourites.

What is Twitter?

Investing Money in Plain English

So what’s the difference between investing money and saving money?

This video from Common Craft explains the difference.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Video: Investing Money in Plain Engli…“, posted with vodpod

Follow sgcbusiness on Twitter


Email: sgcbusiness [at] stgeraldscollege [dot] com

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