Opening Bell: China's growth hits 26-year low, Brexit talks and Ireland, Galway's big hair restoration deal

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news...

Official numbers from Beijing show that the Chinese economy expanded by 6.7% last year - that is its lowest rate of annual expansion since 1990.

It is down from 6.9% growth in 2015 - and within the government's forecast of expansion between 6.5-7.0%.

The head of the National Bureau of Statics who calculated the growth rate has said that it is "authentic" and "reliable," this comes after officials admitted that growth figures had been inflated to meet targets between 2011 and 2014.

The country faces a number of challenges in 2017 - including the threat of tariffs from the Trump administration and the unwinding of the country's inflated property market.


The DAA is seeking an extension to its planning permission for a new €320m runway at Dublin Airport.

Enabling work on the project is underway and full construction is expected to begin later in this year.

According to the Irish Independent this morning, the DAA told the Fingal County Council that the project had been delayed during the economic crisis and that more time is needed - it is due to be completed by 2020.


The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has told Irish MEPs his door will be open to them while the negotiations are ongoing.

That’s according to the Fine Gael's Sean Kelly who was among a group of Irish MEPs who met Mr Barnier in Strasbourg this week - he says that Irish concerns will be put, "at the top of the list" during Brexit talks.

He added that he believes that it is "encouraging" that Mr Barnier "understands" Ireland's position.


Irish entrepreneur James Murphy has sold Viviscal - his hair restoration brand to the owners of Arm & Hammer toothpaste in a deal reported to be worth €150m.

The Galway-based businessman's hair products are sold in 25,000 retail outlets across the US.

It is 90% owned by Mr Murphy - and the brand has secured a host of celebrity endorsements from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Miley Cyrus.