Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Final Quarter 2009 - What is the Outlook for 2010?

We are well into the Final Quarter 2009 and to reflect on the year so far one can say it has been a bloodbath in the Construction Sector in Ireland.
Almost on a weekly basis we hear of colleagues and friends on a 3 day week or laid off altogether.
Unfortunately the outlook will be worse for 2010, particularly in the Civil Sector.
With the pending budget one suspects that cycle lanes and water supply / metering projects will be the only game in town. Add this to the fact that most large scale projects are coming to completion, such as the N3, Limerick Tunnel, remainder of the N7 works, M50 completion and so on; this leaves us with a Civil Engineering Contracting sector desperately in need of an injection of funds.
Sammy Wilson in the North has added almost a £1mil per day expenditure in this sector which is benefiting contractors across the border.
Commercial projects in the ROI fell on the latest Construction PMI index and Civil Engineering fell even further and this trend in the Civils Sector will only continue if the Government doesn't stem the tide and release some medium to large scale tenders.
Many of us in the industry can't wait to see the back of 2009; hopefully 2010 will fast forward quickly enough and we may see some uplift in each sector of the overall economy.
If the current positive forecasts from the UK, Europe and the US come to fruition then perhaps some increase in Direct Foreign Investment may lead to improvement elsewhere in our economy which will in turn help the Construction Industry. Some positive feedback from possible growth area's appear to be in the global insurance sector and the 'green' energy market and the signs are improving that Ireland is a good base for such industries. This, at least, is some good news on the horizon.
Hopefully the Government will target their own cutbacks in-house (like every other business in the country were, and still are, forced to do) by way of cutting out the waste in the civil service and the over staffed agencies and quango's that were formed during the boom rather than taking the easy option by way of targeting and taxing the working men and women of the country and those unfortunate to be job seeking.
Time will tell on all these issues.
NAMA prediction tomorrow - discounted value at 35 to 40% on the property loans (or so they will tell us).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alive Alive O........Oh?

So Dublin ranks as number 3 in the list of Europe's best paid cities. Zurich and Geneva are number 1 and 2 respectively. This is cold comfort for all the construction workers on the dole queue's.
Dublin is also one of the least taxed cities according to the same Forbes report. They state that taxes only eat into 15% of workers take home pay. This would appear inaccurate as far as this blogger is concerned and one would question who they carried their survey out on?
At least Dublin / Ireland doesn't rank as one of the dearest places to hire people, this falls to Denmark and Liechtenstein.
The Top Ten best paid cities in Europe are;
1.Zurich 2.Geneva 3.Dublin 4.Luxembourg 5.Copenhagen 6.Oslo 7.Helsinki 8.Munich 9.Frankfurt 10.Brussels.
London has fallen from no.2 to no.21.