Business World

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Bond yields

Yet more Spanish bull, with Madrid's market woes accumulating as bondholders continue to sell off their Iberian debt. We have been able to resist getting pulled along by the tide of heightened panic -- and the NTMA surprised us all last week in selling off €4.19bn of bonds in the international market. Given the level of take-up, our bond yield has decreased to 6.25%. This is a very significant step which builds on the successful auction of T-bills last month and show the world we are weaning ourselves off bailout funding!

Euro exchange

Money managers all over the world hedged against the euro this week and pushed it down again to $1.23 -- though it hit much lower levels during the week. Back in May, the IEA reported that a fall of 7.9 per cent of the euro/dollar below the monthly average represented a €1.7bn gain to Irish goods export companies. Given that this exchange rate has fallen another 7 per cent since the May close, it's not hard to see why Irish exporters are smiling at this slide!

Industrial lettings

It's difficult to imagine there is a lot of action happening in the property market these days outside of distressed auctions -- but, according to estate agents CBRE, "leasing take-up achieved in Dublin in Q2 2012 was... stronger on both a quarterly and annual basis". This encouraging (though embryonic) sign is that there is at least a hint of activity on the property market again, which is needed to clear some of the backlog of supply and dearth of jobs confidence in this sector.

UK recession

All eyes are on London for the coming weeks as the Olympians compete to do their country proud. However, the UK economy is not exactly going for gold, as British GDP fell 0.7 per cent in Q2, which was a much larger drop than anticipated. Given that our closest neighbours are our biggest trading partner in country terms, this could have a negative knock-on effect on our own sales into GB. Let's hope some of their global visitors would like to check out the Emerald Isle in between swimming and volleyball?

German business confidence

How well our new overlords (or saviours) the Germans are doing is vital to Ireland's economic recovery. The Ifo Institute Index of German business confidence fell last week to its lowest level since March 2010. The Ifo institute said its confidence index dropped to 103.3 points in July from 105.2 in June -- the third consecutive month-on-month fall. The hard-saving Germans are worried that their economy won't be able to escape the fallout from the crisis forever.

Iced coffee drinks

Despite the ever-changing weather, sales of iced coffee beverages rose last week compared with last year. As a result, overall beverage sales in Insomnia rose by 2 per cent last week year-on-year. The cafe chain, led by Bobby Kerr of Dragon's Den fame, has found that constantly refreshing its product offerings lures consumers in to spend more money -- come rain or shine.

Used cars

It's been another bad week for used car sales as drivers delay doing deals during the summer months. Motoring data from indicates that used car sales fell by 4.1 per cent over the last week. Bad economic news emanating from Europe and talk of cuts to public sector allowances, are also not helping confidence. Let's hope things start to rev-up again once the summer lull ends.

Sunday Indo Business

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