a strange way of judging the economy

sometimes i like to talk to folks in my neighbourhood in order to get a feel for how everybody else is doing in the credit crunch, i was talking to the owner of a hardware shop on pearse st. asking how business is going.

his answer?

‘crap’ to give a verbatim quote. he said that since last august its been getting steadily slower and he said that lots of foreign workers are heading home because now they can be well to do, and also that people will drive further to use an account with chadwicks etc. rather than pay cash at a small store. many of you already know things are not good and getting worse but many of you are also into economics and property. This guy isn’t, but if you need to know anything about tools he’s an encyclopedia.

they are closing a second place they had and battoning down the hatches.

i take his very real life story as absolute proof that housing is going to go a further 10% fall off in property prices. timeframe? who knows, but we are not going to see recovery in 2008 no matter who says it, i’m going on the record saying that.

He also mentioned that traffic seemed lighter recently, people are not driving as much, and they are packing their lunches, and so he’s not getting a passing trade because folks are not walking by to the sandwich places near him. this won’t hit official statistics until they have time to look back at national figures etc. but i think the guy has a point.

in fact there was an article in the papers today saying that less cars are entering the city than in 1997… co-incidence?

anyways, thats just a small titbit of a guy i spoke to today.

if anybody has spoken to who has helped shed some light on the economy without talking about official figures you should post it here, especially if they are giving you eye openers and they don’t realise themselves that they are doing it!

I was at a funeral last week and a couple of guys I hadnt seen in a long time told me they had been put on protective notice at work. They werent sure what they were going to do as both have mortgages and young kids. They expect to be let go by the Summer. Another guy who I play football with told me at the weekend that himself and his brother who run some sort of construction based outfit have now got three people working for them whereas they had 20/25 two years ago. Both of these tales emanate from the greater Dublin area. IMO the slowdown has only recently begun to seep into peoples consciousness. Id say we’re moving into the fear stage.

Ben Dunne was on the Newstalk lunchtime programme yesterday saying that people were ‘in denial about the state of the economy’. He said there was a severe recession coming from what he was observing around him. Seeing as he was the head of our largest retailer in the 80’s I take it he knows what he’s talking about.

As someone who sold up last spring to move closer to Dublin, we decided to rent. My brother in law recently commented that they thought we were a bit loopy back then, but jeez didn’t we time it perfectly!

The chipper down the road suddenly closed for refurbishment last week. Seemed very sudden to me. Wonder if it has been sold or is it open again?

traffic on the n25 (cork) is well down on last year, as noticed by a lot of people at our work

staff has reduced from 400 to 200 in six months (Process Design/Construction)and will reduce further to core level by autumn

house estates left unfinished and abandoned

local contractors not able to get work (since xmas) for first time in 14 years.

Local car dealerships bemoaning drop in trades (i’m friendly with salesman)

in East/Central cork, the number of excess commercial and domestic buildings is really alarming.


Its the Strength of the dollar which is hurting my company, last year we were a lot cheaper than the states for design work, now the states is cheaper and thus we keep loosing out to US based design firms or, when the major (Process) companies decide not to invest in Ireland.

I believe we may start to diversify in abid to survive. (oil/Gas etc)

I cannot emphisise just how much the strength of the euro is restricting international work/investment in and through ireland.

I do not see a bright future in this industry in ireland, except servicing the existing (irish) plants, most work is being fished out to low cost centres such as India,Philipines, and the US!

10 years max.

Was chatting to a lad last night who was telling me a bit about the plant and machinery trade.

He said that Ganly Craigies who do regular plant auctions have not enough room to accept all the entries that the finance companies want to give them!

Also there are a number of big buyers here at present who are buying up huge amounts of plant and shipping it overseas, mainly to East Europe and Africa.

Seems that a machine bought here for 10K and shipped to the Ukraine yeilds about 10K profit after all shipping and taxes are paid.

Where I work is getting hammered by the falling dollar and sterling, does not matter where we cut back, the falling dollar undoes all the effort we make. Eventually multinationals are going to have to abandon pricing in dollars if this trend keeps up.

Have a friend who is involved with evaluating job applicants for various firms in Munster, mainly the “safe” pharma and medical devices industry and new candidates have just dropped off a cliff about 6 months ago. Until the other side of this person’s business picks up (ie helping people OUT the door) my friend is living on fresh air. We have talked about some of those who are being “downsized” (no names mentioned of course) and there are some very tough stories out there - early forties, couple of kids, recent 100% mortgage, both partners out of work at the same time… And none of these people have invested in multiple properties or other related speculation as far as I know - they are getting hammered as manufacturing starts to pack up and go…
Seriously - I know of one family who may be forced to move back in with their (60 year+ age) parents - nobody is happy about that one!

Folks were scrambling to get a State job for the last couple of years - think that door is now closed.

expect to see a company like B & Q or Atlanic homecare closing down. All talk of the property market is only one side of the coin. When people stop “consuming”, that is when the fit will hit the shan. Also, if someone who has setup a property watch webside, perhaps they setup one for commercial 4x4? Alot of people bought these as a kind of status symbol, and now may realise that they can’t afford it.

It would be interesting to see how many Luxury cars end up on CBG as well, will we see a lot of 06/07/08 Masarattis and Porche Cyannes? (Which are the world’s stupidest cars if you ask me, would you drive a Massy Fergison sports car?)

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

The PigAndHeffer increased their prices by 14% for sandwiches about 4 weeks back, McCabes on Tara St increased theirs by a similar amount. Since then I bring lunch into work. Two others who I work with do the same now.

A guy I work with was telling us he was in Chadwicks and there were several lads outside giving their CVs to builder types.

Heard second hand that Nolans Kitchens has no work comming in, there will be consequences…

when money stops moving it could cause a thrift effect as well: look up paradox of thrift, its an interesting idea.

supersnipers comment interested me greatly, and whizzbang you are probably right, maybe a ‘daftwatch’ alternative called ‘carwatch’ will spring up!
i would definitely say you’ll see people offloading luxury goods at knock down prices because as the economy drops cash becomes king, we are going
to see a shift away from ‘assets’ meaning you are wealthy, to cold hard ‘cash & gold’.

Bedsit wrote:

I wouldn’t be worried about the local chipper, more likely a closing down of one or two of the newly annointed Michelin darlings…

It might become cool to be Kechi.


I pass Wilson Auctions every day going to and from my work.Recently they seem to be out the door taking in Construction plant & machinery on low loaders at all times of the day and night.Their yard is knee deep in all sorts of diggers and plant…mostly quite new and in good condition.A sign of the times perhaps?

I have quite a few Polish neighbours and most of them have been let off from their jobs in the last few months.Some have got casual work,but most have or are talking of returning to Poland by the Summer.

One Polish girl works in the local filling station on the deli counter…was very busy the last few years supplying breakfast roll man.She has recently been put on part time,as breakfast roll man has appeared to be dieting at the moment! Business has really dropped off in that industry.

My local Super Valu has a large Public Notices Board installed at its entrance.There has been a dramatic increase in the last few months of tradesmen offering their services.One year ago this Board was bereft of this as they were all too busy with our overrated constuction frenzy.we also appear to be getting junk mail again from all sorts of trades in our letterbox!

I am amazed at how the B&Q/Woodies etc are surviving so long.Anytime I drop in to them they always seem deserted of customers.They have a lot of staff,overheads,heating and rent in these newly sprung up business parks.I would not be surprised to see quite a few of them close.

The roads that I travel to work in the morning and evenings are definitely much quieter since Easter.I also do not see so many Polish and Latvian registered cars as I previously saw on my travels.Has anyone else noticed this?

i’ve seen the same thing myself, the place i get coffee is operated almost exclusively by foreign workers, out of the 7 working there 6 are going! they are getting replaced but the two most recent to go are not getting replaced so i am guessing that the shop is going too be getting ready for a decrease in consumer spending,

i equate this kind of gauging of the economy to the way that birds naturally know to fly south, i think that people (despite VI opinions) know whats coming.

2 work colleagues cannot sell their cars for many months now, not a single offer. Also, lack of work demand for take-away drivers for the lieks of pizza’s, chippers etc. That means people are cutting back on non-essentials.
Agree Comrade, also i did report on the pin a few months ago of the desertion of Pl, LT and LV regs on Irish roads. :slight_smile:

Would that be the equivalent of protestant carefulness?

Deffo the LT reg cars, I have seen none this year for the first time in years …and the building season is in full swing now such as it is . Still a few PL cars about .