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ISEQ steady-Employment growth to continu

Thursday, February 27 09:06:25

The ISEQ is steady this morning at 5,114, up 10 points as nervousness grows regarding The Ukraine situation.

Irish labour market data will be released today and Davy Stockbrokers sees 2013 employment growth at 2.3 per cent:

Stock indices were little changed on Wednesday: the Euro Stoxx 50 was down 0.29pc and the S and P500 was unchanged on the day. Today, US markets will focus on the January durable goods orders and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to the Senate.

As with other data releases for last month, durable goods orders were probably hit by the severe weather, with consensus expecting a 0.3pc fall in core orders (ex-aircraft) after the 1.3pc decline in December. Yellen will probably say that the Fed is willing to look past this recent run of poor data at her Senate hearing this evening and is unlikely to add much more to the testimony that she gave to the Senate in advance of taking office a few weeks ago. The Fed's plan of a gradual taper in its asset purchases is therefore unlikely to be derailed by the temporary dip in activity.

Today sees the release of the Q4 Irish labour market data, which should indicate that the Irish economy continued to add jobs at the end of 2013. We expect something close to the 3.2pc annual growth in jobs in Q3, which would push overall growth in 2013 to 2.3pc - the fastest rate of growth since 2007.

One drag on the labour market last year was the public sector. Yesterday's Earnings and Labour Costs release from the Central Statistics Office showed numbers declining in the public sector by 1.4pc over the year to Q4 to 376,300. Nevertheless, surveys pointed to buoyant jobs growth in the private sector in Q4, while the Live Register unemployment rate declined precipitously to 12.3pc in January 2014 from 12.7pc at the end of Q3. This means private sector growth should do more than enough to offset the cuts in the public sector according to Davy Stockbrokers.