Business

Monday 29 May 2017

Lego sales: Irish sales have jumped 81 per cent the last year

While the property market may be thawing ever so slightly, people are still building stuff, although it's mainly out of Lego. The colouredy blocks are so wildly expensive, they must be made of plastic-covered gold. Latest stats from eBay.ie show that Irish sales have jumped 81 per cent the last year.

Crime

There was a 5 per cent jump in the number of attempted robberies at Netwatch-monitored businesses in October compared with the same month last year. Rising crime levels -- particularly crimes against property and business -- indicate a fraying of the fabric of society and a sense of helplessness among the disenfranchised. Or that there's nothing on telly.

Inflation

Prices rose by 2.8 per cent in the year to October, according to CSO figures last week. While it's slowly eating away at our debt mountain, it's making stuff pretty tight on the home front. Education up 6.5 per cent and electricity, gas and heating up 10.2 per cent. The money is going on essentials rather than nice frilly things.

Nine-year Irish bond yield

In a game of Top Trumps with rubbish leaders, would Berlusconi beat Brian Cowen? Silvio's parties might have been a bit more craic but Cowen had the upper hand when it came to... eh... um... er. We're tracking nine-year bond yields because there aren't any 10-year ones due. The interest rate or yield indicates how iffy we look to investors. A high yield means they figure that they won't get their money back because we're heading down the plughole. It's all about Italy this week and Italian bond yields are rapidly approaching our levels of riskiness. Irish nine-year bonds fell slightly to 8.07 per cent.

Eurozone economic growth projections

Don't choke on your cornflakes! Eurozone economic growth has been revised down to 0.5 per cent as opposed to the 1.8 per cent predicted in the spring. While it's good for the soul that some of our pointy-elbowed European partners begin to get a bit wobbly, unfortunately it's like Roundup for the green shoots. Our only plan is for huge amounts of exporting to drive a recovery. Slowing growth in our major European markets means fewer exports. But at least in the short term Sarkozy and Merkel will be less smug.

Savings rates

The very real concerns that the eejits running Europe are in fact complete eejits, saw more people try to save money last month, according to the latest Nationwide (UK)/ESRI Savings index, which hit its highest level of the year. The heightened desire to save is a bummer for the retail sector as it means that wallets remain even more firmly zipped.

11890 queries

Directory enquiries firm 11890 shows that calls for car servicing were up 12 per cent, while calls related to hairdressing and beauty had fallen by 11 per cent. This shows that while spending on necessary things is ok, spending on discretionary or luxury items remains weak.

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