Ireland
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 continue to believe that Ireland's economic recovery will gather momentum in 2014 with the economy growing at an annual rate of 2.1%, followed by 2.3% the following year, and increasing each year in our five-year forecast, driven by a strong performance in the manufacturing sector and exports. Gradually easing unemployment and rising wages should support an increase in household disposable incomes, which we expect to have positive implications for consumer spending on food and drink.

Headline Industry Data

  • Total food consumption (local currency) growth year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2014: +2.7; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2018: +3.5%

  • Per capita food consumption (local currency) growth y-o-y in 2014: +1.6%; CAGR...

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Insurance

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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Espicom Industry View : Ireland represents a small, but advanced medical device market , which is valued at a n estimated EUR 603.9mn (US$797.2 mn ) in 2013. In US dollar terms, t he market contracted between 2008 and 201 3 , but returned to growth in 2013 and is forecas t to grow at a CAGR of 2.2 % in US dollars, to reach US$888.3 mn in 2018. Ireland has a strong medical device manufacturing sector, and is an attractive location for US and other firms to use as a European base.

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Ireland Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: The US government and the OECD recent proposals to discourage corporate inversion pose downside risk to the rate of M&A deals that opt to establish their new headquarters' domicile in Ireland, although the megatrend of consolidation within the pharmaceutical industry, including cross-border mergers and redomiciling in Ireland for tax saving purposes , is expected to continue over the nea r term. More broadly, due to potential acquisitive interest in different Irish pharmaceutical equities, as well as the Irish industry reputation in pharmaceutical research and development, we expect intense M&A activity involving Irish-based firms to continue over the next quarters, observing various strategic rationale and eventual tax savings potential....

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Telecommunications

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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