Opening Bell: Fiscal watchdog issues warning, the dollar dips, Liffey tower faces fresh objections

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The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) has warned that a surge in construction activity could cause the Irish economy to "overheat."

"Fiscal policy may have to lean against the wind if the domestic economy begins to overheat, especially if the construction sector responds to persistent supply shortfalls," the IFAC said in its latest Fiscal Assessment Report.

It adds that Ireland's recovery is set to continue and that further fiscal stimulation is not needed.

The annual report by the Council has urged the Government to manage the country's finances more carefully:

"Since a deficit of less than 3% of GDP was achieved in 2015, Ireland has shown a minimalist approach to complying with the fiscal rules. The rules have been breached in 2016, while plans suggest a possible further breach for 2017. Unless the public finances are managed carefully, sanctions could be triggered," it warned.


The US dollar has hit a post-election low as business leaders' doubts regarding Donald Trump's ability to push through economic reforms grows.

The US president has become bogged down in a series of controversies. Today could be a pivotal day in his presidency as former FBI director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate. He is expected to say that the US president asked him to winddown an investigation into links between his campaign and Russian officials.

$1 currently buys €0.89.


Plans for Jonny Ronan's 22-storey Aqua Vetro tower on the Liffey face objections from the Irish Georgian Society (IGS).

The group has written to Dublin City Council to raise its "concerns about the planning application which in our view would have a significant detrimental impact on the character of Dublin city's most architecturally important buildings and public spaces," according to The Irish Independent.

It believes that the Tara St plans would have, "a considerable detrimental impact on the character and setting of protected structures."

However, the team behind the development say that the project will, "be an exemplar of inner-city regeneration including high-quality office and hotel accommodation, sustainable design and infrastructure, high-quality public realm, enhanced permeability and connectivity."

It adds, "the development will have significant economic renewal and employment-generating benefits. It will promote movement and connectivity through the creation of new through routes and spaces."


Children's exposure to alcohol marketing will be discussed at a seminar being held by Alcohol Action Ireland today.

The event is taking place in Brussels and is a joint initiative with Eurocare; European Alcohol Policy Alliance.

The audio-visual media services directive is currently being revised by the European Institutions, in a bid to prevent alcohol being marketed to children.