Fed increases rate, surveyor shortage and is GDPR fit for purpose?

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Stay up to date with all our business news: sign up to our Business Today daily email news digest.

The US Federal Reserve increased its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday but warned that “ongoing increases” would be needed to bring inflation under control. The shift down to a quarter-point increase marked a return to a slower, more orthodox pace of rate rises after the Fed rapidly ratcheted up borrowing costs last year, and reflected the fact that inflation appears to have peaked while the economy is starting to slow. Colby Smith and Kate Duguid report.

Any upward revision of the Government’s housing targets over the coming weeks is likely to increase demand for qualified surveyors, an industry that is already facing a dramatic skills shortfall, research by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has indicated. Ian Curran reports.

At the end of 2024 or early 2025, the new children’s hospital is set to open its doors, bringing to an end years of construction and kicking off what is hoped will be a new era in children’s healthcare in Ireland. A key part of that will be digital technology, with everything from patient records to the systems controlling the hospital building being digitised, writes Ciara O’Brien.


Is the General Data Protection Regulation one-stop shop mechanism for dealing with complaints fit for purpose? Ireland has unfortunately provided most of the evidence in the “no” corner, writes Karlin Lillington in her weekly column.

While forest fires tend to be associated more with hot than temperate climates, Irish forests can also go up in smoke and it was a devastating fire in Killarney National Park that inspired Louis Walsh to develop Femtofire, a fire risk assessment system aimed at preventing forest fires before they happen. Olive Keogh reports.

Ireland will play a major role whenever the early history of Europe’s data-based economy is written, but it remains open whether it will be positive or negative, argues Cantillon. Our resident sage also wonders how much demand does the ECB have to knock out of the euro zone economy to actually get inflation back down to its 2 per cent target?

In the AI arms race that has just broken out in the tech industry, Google, where much of the latest technology was invented, should be well positioned to be one of the big winners. There is just one problem: With politicians and regulators breathing down its neck, and a hugely profitable business model to defend, the internet search giant may be hesitant to wield many of the weapons at its disposal. Richard Waters and Mahudmita Murgia report.

Ciara O’Brien gives Apple’s second generation HomePod a listen and finds that here’s a lot working in there to help give you the best audio you can get. Sure, there are two tweeters fewer than the original HomePod, but given the inevitable tech developments that have taken place since the original was launched, you have to ask yourself if you really miss them. Honestly? She didn’t.

Brendan Burgess joins our Inside Business podcast to explain his critique of Central Bank policy on mortgage interest rates. It comes after Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf told an Oireachtas committee that Irish banks should increase interest rates to reflect increases applied by the European Central Bank. Plus: Cliff Taylor and Eoin Burke-Kennedy look at the latest economic trends.