Sunday 17 November 2019

Good-looking women

Soon people who look like Rosanna will just be a distant memory. That's because large swathes of young women are skedaddling out of the country, leaving the men behind. Economist David McWilliams has spotted this scary new trend, which has seen the number of young women aged 20 to 24 living in Dublin falling by a truly staggering 15.1 per cent since 2010. This is frightening stuff. There's a colossal spike in the number of women on the dole and now emigration is cannoning young women out of the country. This affects the whole fabric of society, productivity, spending, future population growth and even the prospects of a quick snog after the disco at 3am.

House completions

The construction sector remains bogged down in the seventh circle of hell. An entire industry faces "structural unemployment", which means there is no market need for this service now. This is further reiterated by the fact that in the first half of the year, there was a 26 per cent decrease in the number of houses completed since the same period last year. Reskilling tens of thousands of builders is the only way to get them out of this catastrophe. Fear not -- Fas is on the case. Yikes.

Exports of furry animals

The number of people with heads made from potatoes rather diminishes the grand plans to turn Ireland into the world's smartest economy. This Plan A was the loony idea that saw everyone get a PhD and set up a nanotech company. Plan B is likely to involve agriculture and selling cows and pigs to foreigners. New trade figures show a bit of a blip, with exports of food and furry animals falling from nearly €3.8bn in the first half to 2011 to around €3.7bn in the first half of this year Exports of live animals, dairy and eggs have fallen, while we've been able to shift more cereal and fish abroad.

Bond yields

Ireland's bond yields are flopping, touching 5.02 per cent last week. The lower the bond yield, the cheaper it is for Ireland to raise money on the market. We're now back at the levels last seen in 2010, long before we'd even heard of the IMF and long before we'd fully realised that Brian Cowen was a gobshite. While moves to get the deficit under control are helping, the real impetus to the move in our bond yields is down to the monster ECB bond-buying programme.

iPhones

The new iPhone 5 is forecast to add up to half a per cent on to the size of the US economy as Apple sells about a gazillion phones. Sales of new iPhones in Ireland won't rescue our economy, but at least it'll get people out on the high street spending a bit of money. Figures from eBay.ie show that the number of old mobiles being sold rose by 12% over the last year.

Employment

The number of people with jobs fell by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the first three months of the year. It's down 1.8 per cent on the same period last year. There's been a decline of 14,200 people in the workforce. Most of these reductions have come from the public sector, which is down 6.3 per cent on last year. Government policies to deal with the unemployment crisis simply aren't working.

Euro

The groundbreaking event of unlimited bond buying on "Draghi Day" a fortnight ago has seen the euro leap with confidence. It has now climbed all the way back to $1.30, which reflects the market's much stronger belief in the continuance of the euro. Our exporters now either have to raise their prices or make do with less revenue (and hence pay less tax), with this new-found strength, which they would rather not do.

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