Saturday 17 March 2018

Rock music memorabilia

And rock 'n' roll is supposed to be recession proof? Clearly, it's not. Even the prospect of the Rolling Stones reforming for a 50th anniversary bash isn't enough to get punters spending money. Sales of music merchandise on have slipped 8 per cent since January. Rising emigration, scant disposable income and high youth unemployment are all hitting sales in the music sector. On the plus side, the last time the economy stank, we produced some jolly good bands... and some awful ones.

Hybrid car sales

Like broccoli, hybrid cars are really rather good for you. Sales of hybrids (which run on a mixture of normal petrol and electricity) have risen sharply over the last year. Toyota is kicking ass in the market. Total sales of hybrids in the first six months of 2012 were 514, compared with 410 in the same period last year. Of this 310 were Toyotas, compared with 237 in the same period last year. Any spending on new cars is a real positive for the economy. Secondhand cars are selling as well, with the latest numbers from showing a 4.1 per cent increase last week.

Tax take

At this stage in the year, we are actually paying more tax into the Exchequer than the Government expected! For the first half of the year, the Government took in revenues 3.1 per cent greater than projected. The surplus primarily comprises income and corporation taxes. This is a good sign for the economy in that monies received from employment and business activity is higher than previously thought and will serve to narrow our deficit more rapidly.


While the Irish version of Wimbledon may be a knife fight in the Phoenix Park, we can still enjoy our strawberries. Sales of strawberries, according to Donnelly Fruit & Veg, have increased by 30 per cent this year. Donnelly is selling 1m strawberries per month -- all grown in north Dublin. Consumers buying Irish-produced goods boosts local employment and cuts down on the need for imports. What's not to like?

Sheep Vs People

Sounds like a really addictive app. It's not. The number of sheep in Ireland now outnumbers the human population. Latest CSO figures show a spike in the number of sheep to 4.83m compared with the 2011 census figure for 4.58m people living in Ireland. The growth in sheep numbers indicates either loose morals among the sheep population or increased confidence from farmers that they can rear and sell the sheep for a profit. A resurgent farming and agricultural industry is going to be one of the drivers of export-led recovery.

Government bonds

Er... so the old bank deal wasn't quite as good as we thought, and it mightn't kick in for quite a long time yet. Tick tock. Ireland may need to go back to the markets in a big way next year. Our nine-year bond yields -- a measure of how investors view us as a risky proposition -- edged up slightly last week, hitting 6.29 per cent. The higher the interest rate, the dodgier bond investors think we are.

Euro exchange rates

On the back of the ECB rate cut last week and the lack of follow up on the momentous EU Summit a fortnight ago, the euro has fallen further against the dollar to $1.21. This continuing decline is brilliant for exporters. Not so good if you're planning on the UK or the US for your holidays, mind.

Entrepreneurship stats

Over the course of the past week, for every company that closed, 4.3 enterprises were born. This ratio compares very favourably to the July average of 2.9 which we recorded from last year. The recession has certainly brought out much indigenous entrepreneurial activity across the Emerald Isle. This is very encouraging for the economy due to the potential of economic growth, employment, and exports as well as tax receipts.

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