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The Briefcase: a US President, the Budget and definitely not a housing bubble

This was the week in business.

THE WEEK HAS seen Ireland cast into the international limelight.

The President of the United States of America has picked us out for encouraging non-patriotic economic activity.

Also, new figures this week have seen house prices in the capital sky rocketing. But don’t worry, we have Enda’s reassurance it’s not a housing bubble. 

It’s Friday again, and it’s time for TheJournal.ie’s round-up of the most important business and economic stories from over the last few days.

Obama Economic Patriotism Obama - Not amused Source: AP/Press Association Images

Need to know

Back in the bubble? 

House prices in the capital rose by 24% in the last 12 months according to new figures by the CSO, heralding talk of another housing bubble.

The results were marked by what is being described as a ‘two-speed’ housing market, with prices rising at a much faster rate in Dublin. Outside of the capital, house prices rose by only 3.4% compared to this time last year.

Responding to the hike, the Taoiseach hit out at the notion of a housing bubble. Speaking at a press conference at Government Buildings, Enda Kenny said “I do accept that prices are rising” but that the growth was not indicative of a housing bubble, but rather a supply and demand situation.

Speaking about the need for new housing, the Fine Gael leader said he expected the pressure on house prices to continue for a period of between “18 months and two years”.

housing boom Could we be heading for another housing bubble? Source: photocall/Mark Stedman

The government aims to tackle the housing crisis with its ‘Construction 2020′ scheme. The scheme was introduced prior to the local and European elections and aims to triple housing output by 2020, creating 60,000 jobs over the same period.

Obama not happy about companies ‘gaming the system’ 

The President took aim at companies who “magically become Irish”, in order to avoid paying their fair share of American tax. Obama spoke out against the ‘inversion’ system that sees companies use loopholes to pay tax in countries with lower tax rates.

While Obama acknowledged that what the companies were doing was not technically illegal, he condemned those who engage in the inversion system as “corporate deserters”. The President said that those who seek out such tax loopholes were effectively renouncing their US citizenship.

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Nice to know

  • Things would have felt strange if a week somehow passed and the budget wasn’t mentioned. John McHale, chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, said that anything less than a cut of €2 billion would represent a “worrying weakening of the commitment” to the fiscal targets laid down by the EU.
  • In the wake of flight MH17 being shot down over eastern Ukraine, the euro fell to an eight month low against the dollar with speculation of potential EU sanctions against Russia. The euro-zone would suffer economically from sanctions due to Russia being a supplier of gas and export partner for many EU states.
  • Profits for the second quarter grew again for Apple, with iPhone demand also increasing. The company posted a profit of $7.7 billion on a revenue of $34. 4 billion on the three month period up to the 28th of June. This was an increase of 11.6% on the same period last year.
  • The ad-hoc group of technical experts tasked with helping the Banking Inquiry Committee issued their interim report this week. The report at current is incomplete but is intended to serve as an initial guide to the work of the committee.

Now you know

shutterstock_174394982 Customers could face fee increases Source: Netflix via shutterstock

The outbox 

Apple have ordered somewhere between 70 and 80 million of its new iPhone 6, its largest ever order… Unite donated €10,000 to the locked-out Greyhound workers… Danske Bank recorded a boost in profits… Holvi, a bank from Finland will open its doors in Ireland next month offering free current accounts, debit cards and business functions to SMEs

One for the road

A new app called ‘Selfiecop’ is now available, designed to stop children from “sexting”. The app does this by sending a copy of every video or picture taken on the phone to the child’s parents.

READ: “It’s tough against faceless power on that level” – cultural groups fight losing battle with Nama

READ: Fitness bracelet gives you a shock and takes your money if you don’t work out

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