In-depth country-focused analysis on Ireland's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Our comprehensive assessment of Ireland's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Ireland, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Ireland's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Ireland before your competitors.

Country Risk

Ireland Country Risk

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Core Views

  • We hold an increasingly positive view of Ireland's prospects of an economic recovery over the next few years.

  • We forecast above-consensus real GDP growth of 2.3% in 2014, underpinned by our view that consumer spending will begin playing a bigger role in the recovery.

  • Ireland will maintain its competitive advantage in the service export sector.

  • However, the country's favourable corporate tax regime is likely to come under increasing international pressure in 2014, damaging the country's reputation within the EU and placing government under increasing scrutiny.

Major Forecast Changes

  • We have revised-up our forecasts for real GDP to expand by 2.3% in 2014, from a forecast of 2.1% previously, against the...

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Ireland Industry Coverage (5)

Food & Drink

Ireland Food & Drink

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BMI View: We expect Ireland to be the eurozone's fastest growing economy for the second consecutive year in 2015. Recent data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that real GDP growth was 4.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) over the first three quarters of 2014, suggesting growth will meet our 3.5% forecast for the year. We think Ireland's economic recovery has reached escape velocity, expecting the country to continue benefitting from close trade links with the US and UK, which should partially insulate the country from ailing eurozone demand. Steady exports should then translate into a continued improvement in wages and unemployment. Alongside low inflation and recovering consumer confidence, these factors suggest Irish households will begin spending again in 2015, with private consumption set to play a bigger role driving growth.

Headline Industry Data...

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Ireland Insurance

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BMI View : Ireland's insurance sector presents a mixed picture - on the one hand a more positive domestic economic outlook is likely to result in growth in the life sector. On the other hand pricing competition and exposure to a weaker wider eurozone are limiting overall growth prospects and many sub-sectors of the non-life market, including property insurance, are expected to decline throughout the forecast period.

Ireland's insurance market is very well developed, and while we may see some declines in 2015 and potentially 2016 due to currency movements, it is worth noting that overall the country remains very competitive as an international financial services sector and is home to many major multinational insurance companies. While premium growth may be slow (or indeed may even decline in some areas) the total asset base of the leading insurers...

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Medical Devices

Ireland Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View : Ireland represents a small, but advanced medical device market, which was valued at an estimated EUR 603.9mn (USD797.2mn) in 2013. In US dollar terms, the market contracted between 2008 and 2013, but returned to growth in 2013 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 2.2% in US dollars, to reach USD888.3mn in 2018. Ireland has a strong...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Ireland Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: The US Treasury Department's modification of tax rules in order to discourage tax inversions will continue to curb the number of M&A deals in the pharmaceutical industry that allow companies to be headquartered in Ireland. This is reflected in the recent withdrawal of various M&A deals, including the termination of the merger between AbbVie and Shire, for which transaction terms were already under negotiation when the new rules came into effect. However, the trend of consolidation in the pharmaceutical sector will remain for the foreseeable future, while Irish-...

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Ireland Telecommunications

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BMI View:  The fallout from the merger of O2 Ireland to Hutchison 3G Ireland continues to weigh on the Irish telecoms market. Incumbent eircom ramped up its plans to roll out a next-generation access network based in fibre in light of the 3 group's increased broadband capabilities and reach. It then committed itself to a costly fibre-to-the-home rollout after the European Commission approved the formation of a wireline broadband joint venture between Vodafone and the Electricity Service Board (ESB). Pay-TV operator Sky will see an increase in content after its UK parent buys its German and Italian sister companies...

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