Whoaaah! Brace for take-off! Anglo being liquidated and a deal on the 'prom note' being hammered out was certainly a positive move for the existing debt mountain. It's still disgracefully unfair that we're on the hook for the debt – but when you're as weedy as we are, it's hard not to get pushed around by the big boys. The deal may help the economy take off like a rocket. Bond yields fell to a seven-year low last week.
Pimping my rides
More and more cars are being tooled up, thanks to Xhibit and his boys. Latest numbers from eBay.ie show a 24 per cent increase in the sale of car exhausts and a 13 per cent rise in windscreen wiper sales, while custom lighting for all Pimp My Ride fanatics is up 21 per cent, year on year. While this is a bit weird, it still indicates that some parts of society – notably, the boy racers – are inclined to do some spending.
Google searches for 'restaurants'
There has been a noteworthy, sustained increase in the number of Google searches for restaurants in Dublin, Cork and Galway over the past 18 months. The volume of searches is 90 per cent higher than it was in summer 2011. If this indicator is telling of an increased footfall (and hence spend) in restaurants in our three main urban areas, this would have a significant economic impact on the labour-intensive, consumer-driven industry.
Both Irish industrial production and export growth screeched to a halt last year, kicked in the dangly bits by recession across the eurozone. Overall industrial production dropped by 7.1 per cent in the year to the fourth quarter of 2012, divided between the modern sector down 8.3 per cent and traditional sector squeezed by 1.4 per cent. However, the dreaded "patent cliff" (which was forecast to batter the Irish pharma sector as many drugs went off patent to be replaced by cheaper generic ones) turned out not to be as bad as expected. The good bit of news is that last week's numbers showed that traditional sector output rose by 1.6 per cent in the last quarter.
Buy to let arrears
One of the key issues holding back a recovery in the economy is the worsening mortgage arrears crisis and without distinct action, this situation is not showing any signs of improvement. According to the most recent figures, the Buy to Let arrears increased by 10 per cent quarter on quarter. This inaction on the part of the powers that be is causing massive mental anxiety, a dearth of lending, fear of consumption expenditure and economic decline.
Older demographic growth
CARDI (the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland) say that the number of over 85s is set to grow almost fivefold by 2041 – from 74,000 to 356,000. This has huge implications for the pensions industry and medical sector. And not good ones. Who is going to pay for this?