Opening Bell: Rents rise again, consumers' cautious optimism, the future of the Irish pub

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The average monthly rent now stands at over €1,100 - that's €134 a month higher than last year.

Rents in Dublin are now 66% higher than at their lowest point in 2011, while outside the capital they are up 41%.

Daft.ie's latest report warns that prices are soaring as supply plummets.

Between January and March, the annual increase across the country was 13.4%. In Dublin, it was slightly higher at 13.9%.

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Irish consumers' feeling about the economy remained largely unchanged in April according to the KBC Bank/ESRI consumer sentiment index.

The report notes that "Irish consumer sentiment held broadly steady in April as increased caution about the outlook for household finances offset a slightly more positive view of prospects for the Irish economy.

"The details of the survey suggest a mood of cautious optimism still prevails but there is also a strong sense of an upswing that is being earned or even endured rather than enjoyed," it continues.

Only one in four consumers reporting an improvement in their financial circumstances and Donald Trump and Brexit are highlighted as the main external factors causing worries in Ireland.

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Publicans say their industry has turned the corner after years of decline. A survey carried out for the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) says over half of us visit the pub at least once a week.

9 out of ten Irish people said they wanted to see our "pub culture" preserved - and 97% of tourists travelling here plan to visit an Irish pub.

The VFI's AMG begins in Athlone today. Pat Crotty, President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland has warned that Brexit is already having an impact on the industry through falling UK tourist numbers and currency shifts.

He has also outlined the other challenges facing the industry: "Meanwhile, excise duty on wine, beer, spirits and cider continues to undermine any recovery in the sector while the cost of public liability insurance is causing havoc for publicans across the country. Add to this commercial and water rates, as well as other regulatory impositions."

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Plans to expand the TV licence fee to laptops and tablets have been scrapped.

The changes were proving too costly and too difficult to enforce.

Cabinet is however expected to give the go-ahead to new rules today to tackle licence-fee evaders.

The communications minister also intends to help independent broadcasters by cutting or abolishing their annual levy.