Buying a new tie is a sign of improving confidence in the future, according to economists. Irish men have been buying ties in increasing numbers since the start of the year, according to the latest stats from Ebay.ie. Tie sales have risen by 15 per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2010. But we're waiting for the return of big fat colourful kipper ties, which were big in the boom times of the 1960s. Skinny ties are a sign of grim times or of being Louis Walsh.
10-year Irish bond yield
Irish bond yields have left the planet after hitting yet new record highs last week as investors decided that Italy and the rest of Europe was banjaxed. Irish bonds were downgraded to junk, which took ratings agency Moody's off the Christmas card list. A yield of 14 per cent is inches away. Looks like its time to start stocking up on canned food and buy a shotgun. Wilma! We're going back to the Stone Age.
Sales of presents such as hot air balloon ride vouchers have risen by 33 per cent since the same week last year, according to figures from Ireland's top online gift company www.giftsdirect.com, indicating that some people still want to rise above it all.
20 equally weighted shares from the ISEQ
So how do investors view Ireland? Tracking the stock market is a proxy for investor confidence in the economy. We have a new indicator this week, which equally weights 20 stocks from the ISEQ Index of Irish shares. It fell 0.3 per cent last week, which ain't good news.
Sunshine is bad news for coffee sales -- but then it's not been a great summer so far. Bobby Kerr's Insomnia coffee chain has seen lattes and Americanos edge ahead by 0.4 per cent compared to the same week last year. Maybe it's all the iced coffee that's flying out the door.
Ratio of new enterprises/ companies closing down
The ECB and Germany may be making a right mess of trying to solve the euro crisis. The words 'piss-up' and 'brewery' spring to mind. At least our entrepreneurs are giving it a real go, with more new companies being set up than are closing down. A recent dip was reversed with the ratio rising to 2.45 new companies created for every one closing its doors last week.
Haven't you heard? Beauty is only skin deep. Perhaps it's the recession, but Irish people seem to be focusing on their 'core'. Over the past week, directory enquiries firm 11890 has seen a 21 per cent increase in the number of calls for health clubs as we seek any and all assistance to get buffed up for the summer sun.
Stock of property on Daft
For the first time in a month, the volume of properties for sale on the Daft.ie website have decreased by 0.36 per cent to 58,888. Perhaps the recent publicity and discussion about the Allsops auctions has encouraged more transactions or, alternatively, this week's interest rate increase has discouraged people from lowering their price to compensate. In either case, the fall in this number is underpinned by every type of residential property from one-bed to five-bed.
Sunday Indo Business