Belfast Telegraph

The average house price in Northern Ireland is close to £133,000

There are problems in all council areas yet plenty of positives, too 

The annual Northern Ireland Local Government Association conference is upon us. This year, attendees will gather under the banner of discussing the key roles councils can play in shaping the places where we live, driving the economy and thinking about 'where next?' I have written previously that, with more powers to influence economic development, our councils have displayed an encouraging ambition and willingness to engage on local economic development. This willingness to engage is welcome, especially as the lack of an Executive leaves a vacuum in policy and delivery that local government is increasingly being looked at to fill.

Recent industrial relations difficulties have kept Ryanair in the news

Why Ryanair turbulence doesn't have to mean its business model is finished 

Ryanair unveiled its results for the three months to the end of June on Monday, July 22. These showed a 20% reduction in after-tax profits to €319m. This was despite a 7% increase in passenger numbers to 37.6 million. The share price fell 5% on the results. The airline blamed the profit dip on lower fares - Ryanair's average fare for the quarter was down 4% to €38.68 - plus an early Easter along with higher fuel and pilot costs.

Scotland is keeping close to Brexit negotiations

John Simpson: Why Scottish can teach us some lessons about Brexit 

The economic consequence of the UK Brexit decision for Northern Ireland is difficult to anticipate. Whether the business community should prepare for a complete break from the single market and customs union or whether there will be an agreement to retain some of the trading advantages but not in a comprehensive package, is still to be negotiated. The best hope is that a working arrangement, short of being a full member of the single market, will be found.

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