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Art Sales

Well, if you're not sure that your money is safe in the bank and you've finally realised that stockbrokers know even less than you do, it might well be worth putting some money into art. Genius painter Bill Griffin has a show in the Sarah Walker Gallery in Castletownbere in Cork until September 15. Leave it to the real artists, though, as Ebay.ie figures show sales of art materials has fallen 29 per cent since January.

10-year Irish bond yield

Global indicators such as US non-payroll numbers and French and German manufacturing stats out last week were pretty awful and showed increasing evidence of the global slowdown, which isn't good for our export-led recovery. But the Irish government-bond yield has now tumbled below any level seen this year, as the last time we saw the interest rate on government debt in the 8.563 per cent area was back in December 2010, which represents a 39 per cent fall from its peak just one month ago.

New car sales

Guess how many Porsches have been sold this year? Three. There were 137 sold in 2007. The number of new cars sold in August plummeted 36 per cent compared with August 2010 but a big chunk of this fall was due to the ending of the scrappage scheme. On a more positive note, car sales are up 7 per cent on last year . . . when almost no cars were sold at all.

Equally weighted 20 ISEQ shares

Stock markets are like goldfish. They have a memory of about two seconds. Double dip recessions, eurozone debt crisis, Brian O'Driscoll's shoulder . . . none of these have been solved in the last week or so but markets have skyrocketed. The top 20 stocks in the ISEQ went into orbit last week as buyers returned to pick up a bargain. Our equally weighted basket of ISEQ shares rose 6.3 per cent last week as investors started writing cheques again.

Ratio of new enterprises/companies closing down

Splat. That's the sound of this high-flying indicator hitting the ground. In recent months, the number of new companies setting up far outweighed the numbers of businesses closing down. But August was a dismal month as Ireland's entrepreneurs took it in the kisser. Last week, 437 companies closed down, swamping the index.

Stock of properties for sale available

Property prices continue to fall -- they're down by 12 per cent this year alone. The glut of properties for sale is going to take a long time to clear, which means values aren't going up anytime soon. Daft.ie figures show about 59,000 homes up for grabs, an increase of 0.46 per cent on two weeks ago. Why not camouflage the ghost estates with green paint and pretend that they are just fields?

Number of tourists

They just can't get enough of those Leprechaun hats in Temple Bar. Tourism figures for the second quarter show that almost 1.8 million people visited the country, up 15.6 per cent on a year earlier. Kerchiiiing! Good news for additional consumption expenditure and contributes to export numbers.

Sunday Indo Business