Thursday 14 December 2017

The recovery index - good news and bad news

John Wayne
John Wayne
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES - BAD NEWS

The beardies are revolting again. It's time to dig out the duffle coats and the placards as industrial unrest is bubbling up.

Ireland has witnessed a jaw-dropping rise of 1,176 per cent in the number of days lost to industrial unrest in Q3 in comparison with the same period last year. These productivity losses have an impact on revenue, profit and related taxation, but these occurrences cause tension, anxiety and disharmony in the workplace – all of which have a negative impact on our economy at large.

EMPLOYMENT - GOOD NEWS

This time last year, there were 1,000 people emigrating per week. Now, there are 1,000 jobs being created in the country on a weekly basis. The pace of employment growth has picked up markedly from 1.8 per cent in Q2 to 3.2 per cent in Q3 and, in particular, more full-time than part-time positions are being created. This is where the basis of a recovery can truly be born. As households receive more income, spending and confidence can build again and this would have immensely positive, perpetuating knock-on effects on the domestic economy.

PROPERTIES FOR SALE - GOOD NEWS

Property prices have risen 6.1 per cent in the year to October. This was always highly likely to happen due to the contraction of residential inventory since its peak in mid-2011. The volume has fallen by 3.8 per cent in the past month and with a particular clearing of the three-bed and four-bed stock. While this is positive for landlords and homeowners interested in selling, it's important to point out that potential buy-to-let repossessions haven't taken place yet, which could bolster supply and put downward pressure on prices in the future.

BOND YIELD - GOOD NEWS

We're beginning to walk in a John Wayne kind of way as confidence returns. The sovereign, it seems, is bullet-proof. International investors are hoovering up our debt and the cost of borrowing has fallen accordingly. Our long-term bond interest rate has fallen from 3.68 per cent to 3.492 per cent in the past six weeks as we approach our official bailout exit date. The lower this rate is, the less it costs us to make the repayments and the better our qualitative position on the financial markets. Yippeddy-doo-dah.

Sunday Independent

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