See Search Box
lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be
the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that
developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.
Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and
you are in its business news section.
During August, we will not be providing the 'Markets Afternoon' report due to
holiday and site development work. Use the relevant links below for the latest
UK retail sales volumes in July jumped 1.1%, official figures
showed today. The better than expected performance represented
the highest monthly rise since February, the Office for National
Statistics (ONS) said in London. A strong rise in volumes for a broad mix of retailers,
including sports equipment and jewellery shops, offset a flat
month for department stores and lower household goods sales, the
ONS said.The value of retail sales in July 2010 was 2.8% higher than in
the same month a year earlier.
The monthly sales values: i) for predominantly food stores was
0.8% higher than a year ago; ii) for predominantly non-food stores was 3.7%
higher than a year ago - - within predominantly non-food stores, the largest
rise was in non-specialised stores which increased by 9.2%. Other stores rose by
4.1%. Textile, clothing and footwear stores rose by 3.1%. Household goods stores
decreased by 0.3% over the period; iii) for the non-store retailing sector was
15.4% higher than a year ago; iv) for predominantly automotive fuel was 1.3%
higher than a year ago; v) for the 2.8% year on year movement in the all
retailing series was approximately comprised of: 0.4 percentage points from
predominantly food stores, 1.6 percentage points from predominantly non-food
stores, 0.7 percentage points from non-store retailing and 0.1 percentage points
from automotive fuel.
German Producer Prices: Germany's federal statistics office,
Destatis, today reported that the index of producer
prices for industrial products (domestic sales) for Germany rose by 3.7% in
July 2010 from the corresponding month of the preceding year. In June and May
2010, the annual rates of change were +1.7% and +0.9%, respectively. Compared
with the preceding month, the index rose by 0.5% in July 2010 (+0.6 % in June
Economic View: Rents stabilising despite a large stock still on the market;
Goodbody's chief economist, Dermot O’Leary, commented - - "After falling by 26% from the peak in 2008, the latest report from Daft.ie this
morning indicates that residential rents have stabilised over recent months.
However, with c.20,000 properties available for rent, relative to 5,000 in 2007,
it is unlikely that there will be anything in the way of upward pressure on
rents for some time to come. While further falls cannot be ruled out, if one
assumes that rents remain at the current level, have house prices fallen to a
sufficient extent to return the rental yield from residential property to a more
Based on the latest official data on house prices from the
ESRI/permanent tsb index, the answer would have to be no. On the basis of the
reported 40% decline in house prices, we estimate the rental yield nationally
stood at 4.7% in Q3. Both relative to history and to funding for a property
investment, this is too low. It can be reasonably argued though that prices have
already fallen by more than the official index suggests. If prices are already
down 50%, then the rental yield is estimated at 5.5%, which appears to us to be
a reasonable medium-term target for the rental yield (and indeed is central to
our view that prices do indeed need to fall 50% from the peak on average). A
cautionary note though – in housing cycles, prices often overshoot and then
undershoot 'fundamentals' and judging by the number of properties for rent and
for sale, residential markets in some areas of the country still look
"The big fear
from here is that of a jobless recovery," Virginie Maisonneuve from
Schroders told CNBC Thursday. "Hiring is happening offshore for the most
part," she added.
Bank of England meeting minutes show careful policy balance;
Irish Central Bank Governor Honohan supports fiscal austerity;
Davy's Aidan Corcoran, commented - - "The minutes of the monetary policy committee meeting of August
4th and 5th show the Bank of England refusing to become complacent
on the news that core inflation slowed sharply in July.
UK monetary policy makers are walking a tightrope, with
appreciable risks of both inflation slipping out of control and
economic activity lagging over a sustained period. In normal
circumstances, growth in economic activity moves together with
prices – the presence of high inflation together with economic
stagnation is a formidable challenge to monetary policy.
But high inflation in recent months can be largely ascribed to
factors unrelated to underlying demand, such as the VAT increase in
January of this year. The sharp fall in core CPI in July supports
Governor King's position that underlying price pressure remains
muted. Unfortunately, the uncomfortably high headline inflation
limits any potential for the bank to ease the pain from UK fiscal
In an address to Renmin University, Beijing, on Tuesday August
17th, Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan discussed the
funding situation of countries, including Ireland, which have found
themselves running large fiscal deficits. Some commentators had
suggested that rising debt levels should be addressed only after the
ailing consumer had returned to health. Honohan took the opposite
view, claiming that fiscal consolidation programmes must be adhered
In the context of stubbornly high spreads on the debt of several
sovereigns, Honohan came down clearly in favour of fiscal
belt-tightening, claiming that "the impact on funding costs and
confidence surely more than offsets any short-term adverse impact on
domestic demand from lower net public spending".
The prospect of some relief on funding costs is in tune with the
relatively well-received issue of €1.5bn in Irish government debt on
Tuesday. The total bids received of €5.085bn, or 3.4 times the
maximum amount on offer, might be viewed as encouragement for
Ireland's early and deep spending cuts."
NBC's Phil LeBeau discusses the details of GM's filing to offer 500 million common and
preferred shares of stock:
Elan (Reduce, Closing Price $4.90); Five more cases of PML in July brings
total up to 63; Goodbody's Ian Hunter commented - - "In their monthly update, Biogen Idec and Elan last night announced that there
were a further five cases of PML confirmed in July, bringing the total up to 63.
No further patients died over the month, the total remaining on 12.
Three of the
cases were in the US, bringing the total to 25, with the other two in Europe
(total now 34). Having dipped in the previous month to 1.71 in a thousand, the
incidence rate ticked up again this quarter, returning to 1.76 in a thousand (as
in May) for patients that have received 24 or more infusions. In patients having
received 30 or more infusions, the rate continued to moderate, slipping to 1.40
from 1.46 in June and 1.50 in May. Seven months into the year, there have been
35 cases reported, averaging five a month. Encouragingly, the incidence rates in
those upper treatment levels which encompass significant numbers of patients,
would appear to be stabilising and/or moderating."
The decline of the Western
economic model will bring about hyperinflation and decades of painful
readjustment, Egon von Greyerz, founder of gold investment intermediary
Goldswitzerland.com told CNBC:
On Wednesday in
New York, the Dow Jones rose 10 points or 0.09% to 10,415.
The S&P 500
added 0.15% and the Nasdaq rose 0.28%.
The MSCI Asia
Pacific index gained 0.7% Thursday - - its fifth straight rise.
Nikkei added 1.32%; China's Shanghai Composite rose
0.81%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.09% and India's Sensex Index