| 18.2°C Dublin

US posts huge budget surplus

The US posted its widest monthly budget surplus in five years in April, helped by a stronger income tax take. The surplus increased to $112.9bn (€87bn), the biggest since April 2008, from $59.1bn a year earlier, the Treasury said.

The strengthening US economy is helping to narrow the country's overall deficit, which has exceeded $1 trillion every year for the past four and pushed the state near its legal borrowing limit. US employers hired an extra 1.4 million workers between October 2012 and April.

Canadian jobs hit 11-month high

Canadian employment rose by the most in 11 months in April, up by 12,500 jobs, recovering from a slump in March. The jobless rate was unchanged at 7pc, compared with Ireland's 14pc. Private sector jobs were down by 20,000 but public sector employment rose by 34,200.

Canada is recovering from a slump in exports and investment late last year, with the April gain following a drop in employment in March of 54,500. Still, its labour market is forecast to stall this year. "The increase in April suggests the economy still has very little momentum," said Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital. (Bloomberg)

Yahoo considers bid for TV service

Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer is considering a bid for the Hulu online TV streaming service. Ms Mayer met this month with Hulu senior executives to learn more about the site, which Amazon has also expressed an interest in.

Ms Mayer is looking into adding video advertising to Yahoo's products, given that advertisers are willing to pay a premium to run commercials alongside high-quality content. Hulu, owned by News Corp, Walt Disney and Comcast, offers re-runs of television shows and movies through a paid-for service. (Bloomberg)

Hotel prices to rise 19pc for summer

Hotel prices in Dublin, Killarney and Waterford will rise by 19pc in May as the busy summer season begins, according to Trivago's most recent hotel price index.

The travel website says the biggest European winner this month will be Cannes, where hotel rooms will cost up to 247pc more than April as demand spikes during the Cannes Film Festival. London hotel rooms should also do well with prices up 63pc because of the swathe of visitors for the Champions League Final. Other big events will contribute to an 11pc price rise for the average European hotel room.

Irish Independent