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A busy week ahead for Irish economy data

Friday, August 29 15:48:24

It's another busy week ahead on the Irish economic front.

The first week in September will see mortgage arrears data for the second quarter, services and manufacturing PMIs and Live Register for August as well as the Exchequer Returns for the first eight months of the year.

The later will be the one many will focus most on.

The main focus will be on the latter to see if tax receipts, which were running almost E550m ahead of the official target at end-July remained strong in August.

The Exchequer posted a deficit of E5,180m in January-July compared with an overall budget deficit of E5,155m in the first seven months of 2013. When the 2013 once-off transactions (the sale of Irish Life and the sale of Bank of Ireland CoCos) are excluded, the deficit of E5,180m was an improvement of E2,285m when compared to the same period last year. This was driven by increased tax revenues and lower expenditure. Furthermore, this year's deficit up to the end of July represented an improvement of E798m on the Department of Finance's expectations, mainly due to increased tax receipts and reduced interest expenditure.

Meanwhile, tax revenues in January-July totalled E22,377m, an increase of E1,346m or 6.4pc on the same period in 2013. The Government is targeting an overall increase in tax receipts this year of 5.9pc.

"The budgetary figures in the year-to-date have been positive, and the economy definitely appears to be on an upward trajectory given the key indicators of recent months. Assuming no major external shocks which would hit Irish economic growth projections for 2014, we remain confident that the official 4.8pc of GDP budget deficit target will be bettered. We are now looking for a deficit of below 4.0pc this year. Meanwhile, in the first eight months of the year, an overall Exchequer deficit of E7,050m is forecast, down from a deficit of E7,334m in the same period last year," said Alan McQuaid of Merrion Economics.

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