- Overseas visits to Ireland fell 15.1% to 636,600 in June 2009 compared to the June 2008.
- Visits by residents of the two main visitor markets declined substantially, Great Britain was down 19.8% to 260,700 and Other Europe fell by 12% to 219,600.
- Irish residents made 709,900 overseas trips in June 2009, 7.6% fewer than in June 2008.
- In the first six months of 2009, overseas trips by Irish residents totaled 3,439,300 or 9.8% less than in the same period in 2008.
- Six months total visits to Ireland from abroad fell by 10.7% to 3,304,100.
Sadly, Michael O'Leary is on vacation or I would have brought to you his explicative in the address of the Leinster House on the latest CSO release. Instead - a picture:
Market to watch: RWR-Reit index and US financials.
How long the circus of our Exchequer meltdowns can continue, one of you asked.
In May this year I wrote in a related note (here): "Cowen also stated that "we have a way out that is working". Remember the brilliant German movie Downfall about the last days of the Third Reich? (See a reminder/spoof here). Say no more... our unbeloved leader is in a state of delusion that is equivalent to awaiting the arrival of a miracle weapon (which does not exist) as the real enemy tanks are crushing your city."
That was then. Now, we pretty much know that the Government has deployed all its imaginary weapons and divisions against the enemy. The latest signs from the Cabinet pronouncements (and this includes their advisers) suggest that the Government has assumed the enemy away.
They have borrowed up some €25bn on the estimated liability of of over €35bn (counting recapitalization demands) that in their view will get them (alongside NPRF cash and left-overs from 2008) through this year. The Government is so short-termist that they have no clue / plan/ idea as to what happens after.
From this vantage point - anything is possible. Note the latest ECB statement today:
ECB stated that there are “increasing signs that the global recession is bottoming out”. Eurozone economy's pace of contraction is “clearly slowing”. Compared to July when it was noted that the activity “should decline less strongly” than in Q1 2009 - the latest statement suggests the ECB is already pacing potential interest rates increases in months to come.
And then in Q&A, Trichet did leave open a possibility that growth outlook for the Eurozone might be revised upward in the forthcoming ECB Staff Macroeconomic Projections before September meeting. The forecast update might move growth from current -0.3% expected for 2010 to 0% or even the consensus level of 0.4%. Another issue is timing - the ECB used to forecast return to growth for Q2 2010. This time around, no mentioning of Q2 anywhere, suggesting they are moving for growth to resume in Q1. And then there was Trichet's view that deflation is temporary and that by the end of this year we shall see inflation.
All of this points to a rising interest rates environment sometime in 2010, possibly as early as the end of Q1 2010 if inflation firms up and growth resumes in Q1. Remember, all that quantitative easing will have to go somewhere - i.e into price increases. When that happens, Mr Cowen will be sweating profusely in his air conditioned Merc, because the la-la land of endless borrowing will be over in a second.
Before then, he will pile cash reserves through aggressive borrowings from the ECB to make sure he can pay public sector wages and keep unions from completely imploding. The ICTU/SIPTU have already sensed the weakened leadership and are ganging on Mr Cowen's positions left, right and center. The problem is that comes Q1 2010, the QE will be over, as will be the Lisbon vote, so Mr Cowen will face the real problem of having no cash left by, approximately Q2 2010 or possibly the end of Q2 2010 - depending on how his borrowing will go down in the next few months.
What bothers me most, however, is why on earth no one in the markets realising this?