Direct Sales||% Change
Source: Utah State Tax Commission, March 2008
Ireland's economic turnaround was not the
result of luck - it was a strategy that Utah should
Today's St. Patrick's Day celebration stands as a
testimonial to the deep ties between Ireland and the
US. It's also a good time to look at Ireland's dramatic
economic success and what we can learn from it.
Less than two decades ago, Ireland was a tired,
lagging economy, suffering from double-digit
unemployment, stagnating incomes and a brain drain
of its best and brightest. At the time, Irish
businessmen, government officials and economic
developers made pilgrimages to Pittsburgh to learn
from our leaders about how to restructure ailing
industries, attract talented expatriates back home and
integrate technology into their economic growth.
Today, Ireland's Celtic Tiger economy is one of the
fastest growing in the world, boasting a roaring
technology industry and productivity levels among the
highest in Europe.
The Irish Miracle was powered by a new model of
growth, premised upon the "Three Ts" of economic
development - technology, talent and tolerance from
which we can learn.
Technology: Under the savvy leadership of
Industrial Development Authority, the Irish worked
aggressively to recruit leading high-tech companies
through a policy of "industrialization by invitation."
Financial and tax-related incentives helped recruit
the first wave of companies such as IBM, Lotus, Intel,
Microsoft, Dell, Gateway and Oracle, which were also
lured by the thick talent pool emerging from the
country's world-class universities.
Not content to simply recruit high-tech from
abroad, the Irish government formed a body known as
Enterprise Ireland, to support entrepreneurship and
venture capital and foster the indigenous high-tech
industry. Today, top Irish companies such as
Baltimore Technologies, Iona Technologies and NUA
are players on the global stage.
The Irish software industry now consists of some
700 firms, employing over 18,000 people. Today,
Ireland is the fifth-largest producer and second-
largest exporter of packaged software in the world -
second only to the United States.
Talent: By investing in its higher
education system, Ireland simultaneously bolstered is
ability both to generate and to attract top talent. Since
the 1960s, the Irish government has invested heavily
in higher education and, in particular, it has supported
the formation of technical skills in electronics and
computer-related disciplines through a system of
regional technical colleges.
Today, 60 percent of Ireland's university students
major in engineering, science or business. And with a
growing job market and exciting lifestyle options,
fewer and fewer have any reason to leave the country.
Tolerance and Lifestyle: But both of
more traditional economic development efforts would
not have worked if Ireland did not support and
reinforce them with the third T. Long a conservative
nation, Ireland built upon its legacy of culture, art and
music to become a center for bohemian energy and
an eclectic milieu of scenes, lifestyles and people.
Today the streets teem with a mixture of people -
from buttoned-down businessmen to "geeky" software
developers, edgy black-garbed artists and musicians.
In a remarkable fusion of history and
progressiveness, Ireland has turned cities like Dublin
into lifestyle meccas for dynamic creative people and
those who want to be around such amenities.
The first step revolved around attracting creative
talent. By offering tax breaks to creative people and a
high-quality place to live and work, the country has not
only retained its growing legion of native celebrities,
such as U2, Van Morrison and Liam Neeson, but also
plays host - and home - to many international stars,
such as Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The second step revolved around building true
quality of place grounded in history and authenticity.
Dublin began by restoring its Temple Bar district -
painstakingly revitalizing the same pubs where James
Joyce, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett might have
once had a pint. Today, the district is hipper and more
energetic than ever before.
This strategy of leveraging authentic cultural
assets to attract people and spur economic
revitalization is a far cry from the generic "mall"
approach of chain stores, chain restaurants and chain
bars that so many second-class cities waste millions
of dollars pursuing.
Source: Richard Florida is the H. John Heinz III
Professor of Regional Economic Development at
Carnegie Mellon University. Elizabeth Currid, who
studied at Trinity College Dublin, is a HUD Fellow
pursuing her master's degree at Carnegie Mellon's
Heinz School. Anita Sands, a Ph.D. in physics from
The Queen's University of Belfast, is a Fulbright and
O'Reilly Foundation Scholar pursuing her master's
degree at the Heinz School.
Note: Some edits
were made to make the article more Utah appropriate.
THIS WEEKS LEADS:
- Ikea Property, Inc. trades as Ikea at 270 locations
nationwide and internationally.
- The stores, selling
European-style, contemporary home furnishings,
occupy spaces of 250,000 sq.ft. to 350,000 sq.ft. in
- Growth opportunities are
sought nationwide during the coming 18 months.
- Preferred demographics include a population of
two million within a 40- to 60-mile radius.
- A land
area of 20 acres to 25 acres is required.
- For more information, contact
- Ikea Property, Inc.,
- 420 Alan Wood Road,
- Conshohocken, PA 19428;
- Web site:
- Little Caesars Pizza
- Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. trades as Little
Caesars Pizza at locations nationwide.
pizzerias occupy spaces of 1,200 sq.ft. to 1,400 sq.ft.
in freestanding locations and strip centers.
- Growth opportunities are sought nationwide
during the coming 18 months.
- Typical leases run
five years with options.
- The company prefers to
locate near supermarkets, video stores and
- Preferred demographics include a
population of 25,000 within three miles earning
$50,000 as the average household income.
company is franchising.
- For more information, contact
- Mike Atwell,
- Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.,
- Detroit, MI 48201-
December 2007 Direct Retail
- Who is up?
- Who is down?
and where are Utahn's spending?
- Saint Patrick's
Day - "The Irish Miracle"
|UTAH ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT - First Eight Months (8 mos)
Utah State Government
- Sales and Use Taxes (Gen Gov't)
- Individual Income Taxes (Education)
- Corporate Franchise Taxes (Gen Gov't)
- Motor Fuel Taxes (Transportation)
- Severance Taxes (Gen Gov't)
Source: Utah State Tax Commission, TC-23
- International Business Confidence
- Global business confidence remains very weak,
although it has been stable since the beginning of the
year. Sentiment is darkest in the U.S. where it is
consistent with recession. European confidence is
also notably soft. Real estate firms, financial
institutions and business service firms are the most
worried, but even manufacturers and high-tech firms
are measurably more nervous. Assessments of
current conditions and the outlook six months hence
remain notably dour, although responses to all nine
questions in the survey are soft. Firms continue to
reduce inventories. Pricing pressures remain
subdued despite $100-plus oil.
- Import and Export Prices
- The U.S. Import Price Index increased 0.2% in
February. A 0.6% increase in nonpetroleum prices
fueled the advance in overall import prices. U.S. export
prices advanced 0.9% in February following a 1.2%
rise in January.
- Treasury Budget
- The unified deficit for February was $176 billion,
just above the CBO's preliminary estimate of a $174
billion deficit. The federal government has run a deficit
of $263 billion through the first five months of fiscal
year 2008; this is 62% larger than the deficit at the
same point in fiscal year 2007. After a few years of
improvement, the federal budget deficit is again
- International Employment Survey
- The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey added
five countries to the list in the latest survey, bringing
the total number to 32. Employers in all of the
countries and territories surveyed expect to add staff
during the June quarter this year. The net employment
outlook in the U.S. unexpectedly improved, with 17% of
employers intending to hire in the second quarter
compared with just 10% in the opening three months.
In Europe, hiring intentions softened in most countries
but demand for workers strengthened in Germany
according to the unadjusted readings. Meanwhile,
employment activity in the Asia region will remain
strong, as more employers plan to recruit in the three
months to June.
- International Trade (FT900)
- The nominal U.S. trade deficit in goods and
services widened by 0.6% in January. The U.S. trade
deficit came in at $58.20 billion, $0.34 billion more
than December's revised $57.9 billion, according to
the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In January, both
exports and imports increased, though imports
increased more than exports. The goods deficit with
China, however, widened to $20.3 billion, but is 0.5%
less than a year ago. Crude oil prices increased in
January, which in turn increased the nation's total
import bill for oil to $27.1 billion.
- Consumer Price Index
- The top-line CPI for February came in at 212.6,
indicating slight disinflation. The monthly inflation rate
was zero, while the year-ago top-line inflation rate was
4.1%, down 0.3 percentage points from January
inflation. Core inflation also fell slightly, from 2.5% in
January to 2.3% in February. Most likely, the slight
decrease in inflation is due to the onset of the
demand-side downturn as the U.S. slides into
- Employment Situation
- The labor market performed even worse than
Moody's Economy.com's expectation of no gains.
Payrolls declined by 63,000 in February, with sharp
losses in goods-producing industries (-89,000) as
well as tepid gains in services (26,000). Government
payrolls rebounded as expected with a gain of 38,000.
In addition, the January losses were revised
downward slightly to a loss of 22,000, even though the
preliminary decline in government payrolls was mostly
revised away to a gain of 4,000. The unemployment
rate, however, fell to 4.8%; it is calculated from a
- Consumer Credit (G19)
- Consumer credit increased in January by a
modest $6.9 billion to $2.525 trillion. The details of the
report showed that the bulk of the increase came from
revolving credit, which advanced at a faster pace in
December. Demand for revolving credit should remain
comparably sturdy as rising joblessness, falling
house prices, and slower income growth force
consumers to turn more to credit cards to finance
- Wholesale Trade (MWTR)
- Wholesale inventories rose by 0.8% in January,
doubling consensus expectations of a 0.4% build,
following an unrevised 1.1% reading in December.
Sales rose by 2.7% in January compared with an
upwardly revised 0.5% decline in December. The
inventory-to-sales ratio fell two-hundredths of a point
to 1.07 in January.
- Jobless Claims
- Initial jobless claims held steady at 353,000,
slightly below expectations. Important to remember,
however, is that this is elevated relative to the trend of
recent years, indicating that layoffs have marginally
increased over the past several months.
- Business Inventories (MTIS)
- Total business inventories increased by 0.8% in
January, beating expectations for a milder gain. Retail
inventories are the only new data in this report, which
increased by 0.4%. Sales rose by 1.5%, with
increases in all categories. The I/S ratio declined
slightly to 1.25 from its previous 1.26.
- Quarterly Services Survey
- In the fourth quarter of 2007, the information
industry posted revenue growth of 4.5% from a year
ago. Professional, scientific, and technical services
industry revenues grew 5.9%, administrative and
support industry revenues 1.4%, and hospital and
nursing care industry revenues 7.9%.
- MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
- The MBA applications indices finished mixed, as
they were in the week before. The purchase index
finished the week ending March 7 at 363.1, up 1.6%
from the previous week. Higher mortgage contract
rates continued to erode the refinance index, which
ended at 2,448.2, down by 4.7% from the past week.
The overall market index ended at 671.7, down 1.9%
from the previous week.
- Chain Store Sales
- Chain store sales rose 0.3% in the week ending
March 8 according to the ICSC, leaving the index in its
recent narrow range. Year-over-year growth was hurt
by difficult comparisons, falling to 1.6%, the worst
performance in five weeks. The ICSC noted high
energy prices and unfavorable weather as drags in
- Retail Sales (MARTS)
- Total retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.6% in
February, following an upwardly revised 0.4% gain in
January. Sales at auto dealers fell despite little
change in unit auto sales. So sales excluding autos
fell a smaller 0.2% after gaining 0.5% in January
(originally reported as 0.3%). Drug stores, warehouse
clubs, and sporting goods and hobby stores were
among the few bright spots in February.
- Oil and Gas Inventories
- Crude oil inventories soared by 6.2 million barrels
for the week ending March 7, according to the Energy
Information Administration, compared with
expectations of a 1.7 million barrel buildup. Distillate
supplies fell by 1.2 million barrels, above expectations
of a 1.9 million barrel decline. Gasoline inventories
rose by 1.7 million barrels, above expectations of a 0.3
million barrel buildup. Refinery operating capacity fell
to 85.0% from 85.9%. This report will depress oil
- Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
- nderground storage of natural gas fell by 86 billion
cubic feet during the week ending March 7, slightly
more than the consensus expectation for a drawdown
of 85 billion cubic feet. Total underground storage was
1,398 Bcf as of March 7, 151 Bcf less than a year ago
but 57 Bcf above the five-year average for this time of
Source: Economy.com 2008
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