Tuesday 24 October 2017

Irish box-office receipts

Rising box-office receipts are seen as a sign of a weak economy. It's cheap entertainment, with people preferring to chow down on some nachos, rather than going out to a restaurant or spending lots of money. Of course, it might just mean that it's raining a lot. Last week's box office -- topped by the Cameron Diaz film Bad Teacher -- hit €1.099m, compared with just over €760,000 at the same time last year.

GDP stats are a mixed bag

The latest bit of economic data from the CSO was a rather mixed bag. A big thumbs-up for GDP growth, which was up 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year. Recession, what recession? But the euphoria was punctured when it emerged that most of the oompf in the figures was down to the foreign-owned multinationals, rather than the domestic economy. The GNP stats, which don't include the multinationals, slumped by a painful 4.3 per cent and consumer spending also took a bath. But all in all, the figures were slightly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Directory enquiries

New figures from 11890 directory enquiries show that queries for hotels and B&Bs are up by 35 per cent, restaurants are up by 21 per cent and pubs by 29 per cent. Things are pretty tight, so we can forget about the two weeks in Amalfi and look forward to the staycation at Lahinch. Good news for the economy -- not so good for the suntan.

Put/call ratio on silver

As an indicator that can be read as a proxy for global confidence in the euro as a currency, the put/call ratio on silver has been falling steadily over recent weeks, dropping another 1.28 per cent in the past seven days. In the long run, the shiny stuff might prove safer than keeping your money in currency.

Ratio of new enterprises/ companies closing down

The interest in Irish indigenous business is continuing to be strong, but this has been evident throughout the 10 weeks of the index's life! The ratio is 5.11 this week, but the average over the past couple of months is 3.8. Enterpreneurship is resilient... despite the banks refusing to lend any money. Chucking a few more eggs could do the trick.

Property stock on Daft.ie

While house prices in Dublin rose last month for the first time since 2007, prices everywhere else continued to crater. Further bad news was an increase in the volume of houses on the market, which edged up by 0.24 per cent, according to Daft.ie. This was driven primarily by two-bed, four-bed and five-bed residential homes.

10-year Irish bond yields

Maybe if we all shout it out together Europe will hear us. One, two, three: "WE'RE NOT GREECE!!!" The yield on the bond is now a squashed gnat away from 12 per cent at 11.899 per cent. The chances of returning to markets at this level are zilch. If Greece fails to pass its austerity measures on Tuesday, this is going to rocket.

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