Your business week: Davos returns, Ibec ponders future of work

Intel, Ford and Starbucks to report; euro-zone consumer confidence flash also due


Indicators: German consumer confidence (Feb), PPI (Dec); US imports and exports (Nov), construction spending (Nov), factory orders (Nov).


Results: EasyJet, Johnson & Johnson.

Indicators: Irish wholesale prices (Dec); Euro zone economic sentiment index (Jan); UK unemployment (Nov), public sector net borrowing (Dec), average earnings (Nov); German economic sentiment index (Jan).

Meetings: World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland); Ibec Future of Work Seminar (University College Cork); Limerick Chamber's "Spending Trends – Tourism, Retail & Hospitality Industry Insights & Marketing Trends" (The Grill Room, Limerick City).


Davos to focus on globalisation

Last year at a panel discussion on the future of the continent at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that with the US stepping back from free-trade agreements and the UK leaving the EU, Europe needed to take a greater role in the world.

There will be no prizes for predicting how this theme will progress during this year’s elite gathering (Tuesday to Friday), with the UK deep in Brexit maelstrom and the fate of Anglo-Irish trade hanging in the balance.

This year's event will be attended by the Taoiseach, as well as Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, all no doubt fielding questions on the potential economic fallout of the UK's pending departure.

The four-day coming-together of some of the biggest names in global politics and business offers a unique opportunity to assess the most pressing global issues, and to weigh up various positions.

This year’s theme, “Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, will focus on two areas: challenges for global co-operation in an era of populism and nationalism; and the high-tech digital revolution.

“With climate change posing an existential threat to our common future, we need to figure out better ways to make the global economy work, and fast,” the forum has pitched ahead of its think-in.

Global leaders attending include Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe; Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro; German chancellor Angela Merkel; Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan; Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte; Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu; and Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte.

Ibec ponders future of work

As Davos mulls over the rapid global shifts in technology, a smaller Irish gathering will be addressing the future of employment along similar themes.

Ibec's "Future of Work: Ireland at the Forefront" conference at University College Cork on Tuesday may be a much less glamorous affair, but it will delve more deeply into how the specifics will affect the Irish economy.

Organisers have teed up the event with a nod to how globalisation, digitalisation, changing lifestyles and customer preferences mean a need to evolve jobs and careers.

“The pace of change is accelerating. This brings great opportunity, but also risks.”

The morning conference is pitched at business leaders, educators and “policy shapers”, picking apart how a future Irish workplace will function and adapt.

Those attending include Mike Crowley, HR lead at Pfizer Global; Maeve McElwee, director of employer relations at Ibec; and Gerard McDonough, director of people and organisation at PwC.


Results: Procter & Gamble, Ford.

Indicators: Euro zone consumer confidence flash (Jan), marginal lending rate; UK business optimism index (Q1), industrial trends orders (Jan); US mortgage applications (Jan), retail sales (Dec).


Results: Bristol-Myers Squibb, CPL Resources, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Intel, Starbucks.

Indicators: Euro zone composite, services and manufacturing PMI flash (Jan); UK finance mortgage approvals (Dec); German composite, services and manufacturing PMI flash (Jan); US building permits and housing starts (Dec); composite, services and manufacturing PMI flash (Jan).

Meetings: ECB interest rate decision; Institute of Designers Ireland Awards (CHQ, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1). ESRI seminar on "Targeting disability insurance applications with screening" (ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2).


Results: Givaudan, Colgate-Palmolive.

Indicators: UK consumer confidence (Jan); German business climate (Jan), current conditions and expectations (Jan).