It's not just Tintin who'll be travelling around the world in coming months. Sales of suitcases on eBay.ie have rocketed. This is either very good news (as it shows a degree in confidence for the future when people start making travel plans again) or it's another sign that people are queueing up to leave the island in search of jobs. We're hoping that it's the positive one.
10-year Irish bond yields
Can Europe make any more of a balls-up of the sovereign debt crisis? Will a mega bazooka solution be unveiled today? All of the uncertainty has hit Irish bond yields, which have been rising worryingly again, edging up to 8.5 per cent. There's no getting rid of our IMF/EU overlords and returning to the bond markets under our own steam at these kind of prices.
Sales of vans
The chap in the white van -- breakfast roll man, as he was once known -- is one of the bedrocks of the economy. Small and medium businesses rather than multinationals will provide the real oompf in any recovery. One way of checking the health of this sector is to look at sales of their little white vans. This sector of our economy is up 18 per cent in the year to date.
Equally weighted basket of ISEQ shares
Investors in Irish stocks tended to keep their hands in their pockets over the past week, and this lack of interest drove share prices down. The basket of the top 20 equally weighted shares on the Irish market fell by 0.44 per cent over the last seven days.
Much like an elderly relative with flatulence, nobody wants to be stuck with an Irish bank. The Irish banking sector had $11bn (€8bn) less from the Interbank market in the first quarter of the year, representing a 13 per cent decline. As long as this number is falling, the banks can't wean themselves off the ECB's "Emergency Liquidity Assistance", which means that they can't stand on their own two feet. Pull up a seat Mr Chopra . . . looks like you'll be here for a while.
We were glugging back the flat whites again last week, but it seems to have had the reverse effect on Insomnia's coffee sales over the week, which dipped 4.6 per cent on the same seven-day period last year. When spending on small discretionary items falls, it's time to break out the Kevlar and shotguns.
Brass monkeys out there. Calls to directory enquiry firm 11890 looking for electrical installation is up 18 per cent, and calls seeking heating equipment is up 2 per cent. That's good for tradesmen -- but it's less good for discretionary spending, as heating bills tend to eat up any spare cash that could be used for discretionary spending.
Sunday Indo Business