It's not just Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes calling it a day. There were 3,358 applications for divorce in 2011, a slight decrease on 2010, according to the Courts Service. Around 54 per cent of these were from husbands in the High Court, while the Circuit Court saw a majority of applications by women -- also with 54 per cent. The number of divorces traditionally falls during a downturn, largely due to the fact that property prices take a big hit.
While certain sectors in consumer spending -- such as hot drinks, holidays and even cinemas -- have performed well due to the horrible weather, other sectors in retail have been splattered. Retail excellence figures suggest falls of 4.27 per cent in the second quarter of the year. Garden centres are down 19.96 per cent, with furniture down 9.55 per cent and ladies' fashion falling 7.01 per cent.
Irish bond yields
The National Treasury Management Agency unveiled plans to keep tapping up markets to raise money for Ireland in coming months. Demand for Irish debt is strong according to brokers, which is a positive -- but it all depends on how much interest buyers want to buy Irish bonds. Last week, Irish yields fell to 6.24 per cent.
Sales of cappuccinos, lattes and other hot drinks at Insomnia have risen 7 per cent compared with the same week last year. Small discretionary spending is holding up while bigger ticket items such as new sofas or TVs remain weak. Or else we're just a little bit ratty if we don't get that morning cup of coffee.
The Revenue Commissioners aren't really known for being nice to people . . . especially those in business. However, it's hats off to the taxman for a series of moves that have seen the administrative or red tape burden on business slashed by 25 per cent over the last year. This will save Irish business around €85m. A drop in the ocean, perhaps -- but one less stress to deal with for entrepreneurs.
Rather bizarrely, people tend to spend money buying denim and denim jeans when they feel good about the future. Sales of denim on eBay.ie have risen 11.3 per cent in the last two months, compared with earlier this year. In terms of demographics, denim wearers have aged over the last decade, with more 30-, 40- and 50-somethings squeezing into their skinny jeans and looking like Jeremy Clarkson. While a widespread style faux pas may be committed, the sales spike does indicate some feelings of positivity about future prospects.
Sales of used cars have dropped 7.9 per cent over the last week on Carsireland.ie, indicating that demand has dropped, presumably because of the holiday season. Traditionally, summer months have been quite good for sales of soft-top motors but this year is the exception. Unsubstantiated accounts suggest a demand growing for amphibious vehicles.
Sunday Indo Business