Quite serious pointy heads regard trends in the sale of denim jeans as a genuine economic indicator. Jeans are relatively cheap and are one of the first things consumers buy when they think things are about to improve. Latest eBay.ie stats show that sales of denim rose by a staggering 64 per cent since January. So will we all start dressing like Jeremy Clarkson now? Or Daisy Duke? However, most of the jeans were bought in May and June -- before the stock markets tanked.
The Exchequer returns for September present us with a mixed bag. Overall, the tax take of the Government is up by €343m when compared with the same month last year. This increase is primarily driven by a 33 per cent jump in income tax. However, the largest component of these receipts is VAT at €1.37bn during the month and this was down by 3.4 per cent. Unless we see a growth in confidence in the economy, VAT will continue to languish and will force the State to take more tax from other areas of the economy, further impacting the VAT receipts via diminishing disposable income. A vicious circle or what? But the headline figure is positive.
10-year Irish bond yield
More hot air from European leaders this week. Apparently we need to do something. No, really. Something must be done about all these dreadful Greeks. European leaders agree that they must agree to firm action... at some stage. But yields on Irish bonds continue to fall, down from 7.8 per cent to 7.73 per cent over the last week.
They say that trends in bloodstock sales show what will happen in the global economy in 18 months' time. Tattersalls' Newmarket sales last week saw a 48 per cent rise in average prices paid for horses compared with the same opening session last year. There was a 21.6 per cent increase in the number of horses sold, with 120 yearlings out of 147 shifted at a total price of over 18m guineas. It may have been in the UK but a hefty proportion of the buyers and sellers were Irish. A big thumbs-up for the export economy.
Equally weighted basket of ISEQ shares
The dead cat is in pretty bad shape. Bounce, splat, bounce, splat, bounce. That's what stock markets have been doing since July. Our equally weighted basket of Irish shares is down 3.75 per cent since the start of September. Investors aren't exactly throwing money at Irish shares in expectation of a massive recovery.
The sharp-suited financiers must be getting very good at playing Tetris, because there's not much happening out on the ground. In the first nine months of 2011 there were 199 buyouts or mergers, compared with 195 over the same period in 2010. The value of these deals tanked, falling from €24bn to €15.8bn. Lack of banks to finance deals has been a big blocker but a fall in the value of deals is a sign of weak sentiment.
Sunday Indo Business