independent

Monday 21 April 2014

More woe for multinationals

BANG! Wallop! Crash! Industrial production has just taken a pounding and things don't look like improving anytime soon.

With production down 13.7pc year-on-year thanks to plunging pharmaceutical production, it is pretty clear that something really bad is happening to the multinationals which account for the lion's share of exports.

While these are clearly dreadful results, the silver lining is that the main reason appears to be drugs such as Lipitor going off patent.

This newspaper and several other media organisations predicted that the so-called patent cliff would have knock-on effects on exports and production, only to see those fears waved aside by the IDA and other organisations responsible for minding the multinational sector.

With the British, French and German governments understandably now worrying about companies like Google's reluctance to pay taxes in their jurisdictions, things are beginning to look decidedly wobbly in the multinational sector these days.

The drugs companies that were the stalwarts of the economy during the last decade just seem to be unable to come up with new blockbusters.

The technology companies that are now the great hope appear to have become too greedy and too enthusiastic when it comes to transfer pricing.

Just as the domestic economy shows signs of stabilising, the modern sector is beginning to crumble. You couldn't make it up.

Irish Independent

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