Maybe we just had too much of Sarah Jessica Parker, but the number of people flocking to the top selling movie this time last year was far lower than it was last week. Sex & The City 2 topped the box offices this time last year, taking €230,721 in ticket sales. Fast forward to last week and The Hangover 2 took €645,158. Total box office receipts hit €1.93m against €760,205 for the same week last year. Cinema is cheap entertainment... indicating weakness in consumer confidence and spending.
Hailstones in June -- thanks to the polar air front over Ireland and much of Western Europe -- doesn't give us much to smile about. Insomnia boss, Bobby Kerr, however, must be happy that the cool June weather has sent people rushing for hot cups of latte. His coffee chain has seen a 2 per cent jump in coffee sales compared to the same week last year.
10-year Irish bond yield
With the threat of a Greek default still high -- and its economy shrinking at a faster rate than forecast -- market jitters are getting worse by the hour. Contagion points the finger at Ireland as the next country to go under -- and the Irish bond yield has risen back up to 11.08 per cent as a result.
More unwanted socks and ties are no doubt on the way to Irish dads this Sunday June 19 -- and it looks like many of them will be ordered online. The number of pressies bought at www.giftsdirect.com last week is up 21 per cent on last year. The numbers visiting the site is 46 per cent higher than the same week last year -- an indication that savvy consumers are researching their Father's Day gifts before committing to buy.
Put/call ratio on silver
Our faith in currency-like commodities continues to increase as the euro debt crisis rocks confidence in the value of fiat money -- a type of government-backed currency. Over the past four weeks, the put/call ratio on silver has halved every week -- and there was another fall of 1.23 per cent last week, indicating that there is greater fear out there among investors.
Ratio of new enterprises/ companies closing down
With new jobs on the cards for Dell, CityPost and South Western, last week seemed to be a good one for Ireland Inc. A huge spike in the number of companies closing down pushed this ratio to a record low the week before last -- but it has recovered somewhat, up to 1.78 last week from 0.93 the week before. This ratio is still dismally low however -- possibly due to a reluctance to set up businesses during the summer months when disposable income is usually sucked up by summer holidays.
Stock of properties for sale on Daft.ie
If you've seen the value of your five-bed mansion dive by a couple of million euro over the last three years, finally some good news for you -- there has been a slight dip in the number of 5-bed houses for sale. The overall volume of 2-bed, 3-bed, 4-bed and 5-bed properties for sale fell last week by 0.29 per cent. This is the first time since the beginning of May that the volume of such properties for sale did not go up.
With Michael Noonan warning of further tax hikes last week, and ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet threatening to increase interest rates in a few weeks, it won't be long before we're doing even more penny pinching. It's a good thing then that inflation turned a seven-month trend and fell to 2.7 per cent last week. The fall is largely thanks to a slowdown in energy prices.
Google searches on restaurants
Restaurateurs will be hoping that Conrad Gallagher and Neven Maguire work their magic at this weekend's Taste of Dublin festival and get the punters interested in fine dining again. For the third week in a row, this indicator is absolutely flat with 8,100 searches for "restaurants in Dublin", 590 for the same in Galway and 880 in Cork. This indicator spiked over the Easter weekend but it has been at a plateau throughout May and early June, implying "fine dining fatigue".
Sunday Indo Business