Monday 18 December 2017

Recovery index

Louise McBride and Susan Hayes

Earlier this summer, Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker announced that she'll be designing her own line of shoes – the SJP collection – and she's planning to launch the brand in the US in early 2014. Whether or not Irish women will head to the States next year to snap up SJP heels remains to be seen. But judging from the latest figures from online auction site eBay, Irish women could try to buy the shoes online instead – if they can. Sales of women's shoes rose by 10.5 per cent last week, according to eBay.


The revelations arising from the Anglo Tapes have done more damage to our already battered financial confidence. Standard Life's latest financial confidence index survey, which was conducted around the time the Anglo Tapes story broke, has hit a six-year low of 47.6 – down from 50.6 in the previous quarter. This is the first time since June 2007, when the survey began, that the index has fallen below the 50 mark. The least confident age group, according to the index, are those between the ages of 18 and 24.


The horse-meat scandal is still putting Irish consumers off frozen burgers – despite the latest spate of barbecue weather, Irish people are spending less on frozen burgers than they did last summer. Foreigners, however, can't get enough of Irish beef. The value of beef exports jumped by 15 per cent in the first six months of this year, when compared to the same months last year, according to the latest figures from Bord Bia. Irish exports of food and drink are also racing ahead, with an increase of about 9 per cent over the last year. The continued popularity of Irish whiskey and cream liqueurs has driven some of this growth.


Whether it's The Gathering, the return of the Cead Mile Failte, or simply a longing to hear the soft and lilting Irish brogue, more and more foreigners are flocking to our shores. Between early April and the end of June of this year, the total number of trips to Ireland rose by 4.2 per cent on the year before. This means that an extra 75,700 visited Ireland during those months than did in 2012. This is good news for the country and, in particular, the tourism industry, which is no doubt welcoming the pick-up in numbers.


With property prices up across the country for the first time in about five years, the days of pointy-shoed estate agents driving around in flash red cars could soon be making a comeback. The pick-up in national house prices should also encourage more buyers back into the market. There is already evidence that 'For Sale' signs are no longer hanging around for months on end. In the last six months, there has been a 6.5 per cent fall in sale ads, according to This decline suggests that house sales are on the increase, which should be good for the property market and economy.

Sunday Independent

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