Ireland to hold EU referendum!

Ireland will hold a referendum to ratify the European fiscal compact, after government ministers said such a vote would effectively amount to a show of commitment to the euro.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny, speaking in the Dublin parliament, said that the government decided to hold a vote after receiving legal advice from the state’s attorney general.

An index of U.K. retail sales rose in February to the highest in eight months as a jump in food sales masked underlying weakness in the sector, the Confederation of British Industry said.

The gauge increased to minus 2 from minus 22 the previous month. While a measure of expected sales for next month was at 2, indicating that retailers expect sales to improve in March, stores remain cautious on the outlook.

US consumer-confidence measures are climbing out of the depths reached during the last recession. as employers step up hiring and stocks rally, signalling Americans may be poised to increase spending.

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