Sunday, October 29, 2017

More than half Irish indigenous exports go to 4 Anglo-Saxon countries

Ryanair’s annual revenues in the 12 months to March 2017 were at €6.65bn. According to Enterprise Ireland indigenous tradeable exports in 2016 to Europe-excluding UK, Africa, Middle East, Russia, Central Asia and India, were valued at €6.95bn. UK exports were at €7.75bn and to US/Canada were at €3.74bn.

In 1973 when we joined the EEC about 55% of total exports went to the UK. Today the same ratio of indigenous exports go to 4 Anglo-Saxon countries: UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Even though there are more direct jobs in indigenous exporting firms, 201,100 at end 2016, compared with 199,900 in IDA Ireland foreign-owned (FDI: foreign direct investment) exporting client firms, it’s striking that the onset of Brexit has not focused attention on the narrow base of indigenous firms.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Irish myth of ultra-low French effective corporate tax rate

Source: US Congressional Budget Office
Click image for bigger size 

Since the Irish international economic rescue year of 2010 when Nicolas Sarkozy, then French president, suggested that the low Irish headline corporate tax rate of 12.5% should be raised, it has been commonly believed in Ireland that the French were hypocrites because they had even a lower effective rate than Ireland's, based on actual tax paid as a ratio of reported taxable income.

The 'Paying Taxes' annual report that is produced by PwC, the Big 4 accounting firm, for the World Bank, showed in that year that France had an 8.2% effective rate compared with Ireland's 11.9%.

Both these rates were misleading.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Irish Health Service: On money spent it should be among world's best

If it was only spending money that mattered in delivering a key national social service, Ireland would have one of the best health services among rich countries - there is something rotten in the hybrid public-private system that 6 health ministers starting with Micheál Martin in early 2000, have been unable to fix. Stripping out inflation, total health spending per head doubled in Ireland and UK in 2000-2016 and rose 37% in Germany; 38% in Denmark and 25% in France.

Ireland in 2016 was among the richest countries on per capita spending (adjusted for price differences between countries PPS) according to the OECD: Ireland- US$5,528; Germany $5,551; Denmark $5,199; France $4,600; Sweden $5,487; Spain $3,248; UK $4192. Europe's richest countries Norway and Switzerland spent $6,647 and $7,919.

The US per capita spending in 2016 was $9,892 compared with Canada's $4,644.

The above data relate to current expenditure. On investment in capital equipment/infrastructure, for some of the boom years at 0.6% of GDP (this denominator is inflated by a third due to tax avoidance etc) we tracked Norway; it was at 0.51% in 2013; 0.46% in 2014 and 0.39% in 2015 (this was the year of Leprechaun Economics when Ireland's GDP jumped 26% - so the realistic ratio was higher), while Denmark and France were at above 0.60% in each year.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Global consumer goods companies struggle with sales

Investors have been increasingly buying consumer goods companies' stocks with no growth and at unreasonable prices. The FT's Jonathan Eley explains why they still seem like worthy investments.