On 6 April, the Central Bank published its Quarterly Bulletin, assessing the Irish and Euro area economies. The following are of note to the insurance industry:

» Brexit: The Central Bank reaffirms its commitment to meeting the new challenges emerging from Brexit. This includes workforce and recruitment planning for next year to meet the expected increase in demand;

» Sectoral Specialisation of Irish Exports: In 2015, insurance services made up 5% of Irish exports. The Balassa Index (BI) is a commonly cited metric used in the analysis of international trade developments. A BI value above 1 indicates that a country's market share in that product is higher than the world average and vice versa for scores below 1. While the BI value for insurance services remains above 1 (indicating that Ireland is highly specialised relative to the world average in the sector), there has been a decline in specialisation in the insurance services sector since 2005;

» Inflation and Consumer Prices: Inflation in Ireland remains subdued. Despite the forecasted decline in goods prices, services prices are expected to increase by 2.1% this year, following increases of 2.5% in 2016. Residential rents and insurance prices are among the factors driving services price increases; and

» Financing Developments: Growth of the non-bank financial industry continues, with the number of financial vehicle corporations registered in Ireland reaching the highest level on record at end of 2016.

The Central Bank's Quarterly Bulletin is here.