Haz mat, the nasty stuff that turns turtles into ninja superheroes, serves as an indicator of the health of the economy. We may all start to glow if the amount of hazardous waste rises but it does show increased activity in heavy industry, which is positive for the economy. The latest numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency show that the volume of hazardous waste handled in 2010 dropped by a full 1 per cent to 288,000 tonnes. This indicates slower economic activity. However, the exporters are once again big winners, as we shipped 143,000 tonnes of gunk abroad.
Property prices rose in May for the first time since September 2007. They only rose 0.2 per cent but any port in a storm. If this trend is sustainable and prices stop plummeting, it really is jolly good news. Uncertainty over the value of houses has been one of the key drags on consumer confidence, which has hit domestic spending in a savage way.
The amount of money Irish people will spend on their summer holidays has fallen dramatically, according to a bit of number-crunching by those celebrated economists at lastminute.com. The findings show a monster 25 per cent drop in Irish people's spending which fell from €794 last year to just €600. This represents weak demand and pretty dismal sentiment. As well as bagging all the sun loungers, the Germans are snapping up all the flash deals, as average spending on holidays there is a hefty €838. No recession in Germany, though.
Buying a new Porsche takes a few stones, especially in this climate. But last week's stats from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the number of new Porsches sold in Ireland this year is already up 300 per cent on 2011. Mind you, the numbers are still a bit thin, with just eight new Porsches sold in 2012 compared with a mere two last year. Clearly there's money somewhere. Meanwhile, the volume of used cars being sold on carsireland.ie rose 3.2 per cent last week.
Irish bond yields
Irish nine-year bond yields tumbled to 6.41 per cent last Friday as sketchy news of the Euro banking debt move filtered through. If Ireland can bag a decent deal on refinancing the €60bn-plus in bank bailout money, a return to the stone age mightn't be on the cards any more! And the Germans got knocked out of the Euros! What's not to like?
Sales of sunglasses rose 9.21 per cent on eBay last year, representing a bit of a boost to spending. In the last month there has only been a slight increase of 3.1 per cent in the amount of sunglasses sold.
Ease of doing business
According to the World Bank, out of 183 economies, Ireland is ranked the 10th easiest place to do business across the globe. While this is a fantastic accolade, we have slipped two places in the last year. The better the business environment is, the easier it is for our own entrepreneurs as well as foreign direct investors to set up, operate and create employment.
Sunday Indo Business