With CPI figures showing inflation at -5%, the real return on saving has climbed to a 16-year high. A property-specific real rate of interest can be calculated from the mid-1970s on. It shows that over the whole course of the Celtic Tiger period, real property interest rates were negative. The real cost of borrowing for property now, however, is 15% – higher than at any point for which we have the figures. Read more
Some interesting links on the potential economic effects of Mexican flu, the latest evidence on how climate change may lead to large-scale migration and yet another tool from Google for researchers. Read more
Following last weekend’s European elections, commentators have highlighted a general move to the right and the usual protest vote. An examination of country-level results reveals that the move to the right may be driven more by punishment of governing parties for economic failures than any idealogical shift. Read more
Some links for today, on the topics of consumer confidence, so key to underpinning everything from jobs to VAT receipts at the moment, Google trends as a source of data, and commodity market integration (particularly in times of deglobalization). Read more
S&P has downgraded Ireland’s debt rating – again – while latest Government figures show that Ireland faces a €12bn hole in its tax revenues this year, compared to 2007. This post outlines where the hole has come from and how it can be tackled. This will require an open debate, though, which will involve sacred cows such as Ireland’s corporate tax rate and a property tax. Read more
Figures from this blog on the rent-or-buy decision featured in today’s Irish Independent and have started some discussion on the most important factors for current prospective first-time buyers. This post includes a poll asking for your input on the topic, which will inform future posts on the topic. Read more
Does GDI reflect a recesssion’s turning point better than GDP? When is best to liberalize trade? And has the finance sector been gobbling up society’s talent and wages? Some recommended reading from around the web and around the world Read more
Currently, up to one in four households with a mortgage is faced with negative equity. At the same time, one in seven is coping with unemployment. It is likely, then, that there are in the region of 20,000 homes faced with both negative equity and unemployment. If the Live Register reaches 500,000 and house prices fall another 25% in the next year, this figure could treble to 3.5% of all households. Read more
I’ve been talking about it for a while now, and the day has finally arrived – my new website is live. I hope you like it – the new layout is designed to make navigation easier so there are just 3 main categories now: Irish Economy, World Economy and Property Market. There are now also 2 options for keeping up to date – you can use the RSS feed or sign up for email alerts. A new section is Recommended Reading, while my miscellaneous ramblings, for example on genealogy or technology, are here.
As always, all comments and feedback are very welcome and if there is anything in particular you think I should spend some time investigating, I would really appreciate your suggestions. (Contact details are here.)
Thanks to Susan Gallagher for web design – if you’re in the market for a website I would definitely recommend her – and Naoise McNally for helping me understand the ins and outs of blogging and online marketing.