For years, Steve Schussler has been the creative dynamo behind suchmassive, eye-popping restaurant concepts as Rainforest Café and T-Rex:A Prehistoric Family Adventure.
In Minneapolis, the longstanding rivalry between concrete and asphalt suppliers is spilling over into the streets.
In the recession following a borrowing binge that sent consumer debt tothe highest level ever, Americans are shutting their wallets andbuilding their nest eggs at the fastest pace in 15 years.
Markets News Afternoon: US Consumer Confidence fall in June sends stocks sliding; Irish and UK economies in record growth tumbles
Markets news on stocks, currencies and oil.
The US convention Board Consumer Confidence Index which had improved considerably in May, retreated in June. The Index now stands at 49.3 (1985=100), down from 54.8 in May. The Present Situation Index decreased to 24.8 from 29.7. The Expectations Index declined to 65.5 from 71.5 in May.
Irish GNP plunged at annual 12% rate in first quarter of 2009; Service exports fell; Ireland’s External Debt increased to €1.69 trillion
Irish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP) for the first quarter of 2009 fell sharply according to data today from the CSO. Compared with the corresponding quarter of 2008, GDP at constant prices was 8.5 per cent lower while GNP – – which excludes profits from multi-national companies – – was 12.0 per cent lower. The seasonally adjusted estimates show that, compared with the previous quarter, GDP fell by 1.5 per cent and GNP by 4.5 per cent. Service exports at €16,050m fell €360m largely due to insurance and financial services. Service imports rose. Ireland’s External Debt increased to €1.69 trillion at end March 2009.
Competition Authority finds increasingly price-conscious Irish consumers; State must lead in reducing the cost of doing business; Tesco raises prices
The Competition Authority today published its report on the Irish Retail-related Import and Distribution sector. It finds that increasingly price-conscious consumers are shopping around for the best prices and spurring more competition between retailers and their suppliers. This is causing prices to fall. For example, between January and May 2009 grocery prices fell by over 2%. The Authority says the State must lead in reducing the cost of doing business and price reductions on medicines for consumers must also come from the State. Meanwhile, supermarket leader Tesco confirmed on Tuesday that it had increased prices of 200 items.
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for April 2009 have improved; Annual prices in Phoenix down 35%; Las Vegas 32%, San Francisco 28%
Data through April 2009, released today by Standard & bad’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of US home prices, show that, although still negative, the annual decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved. Annual prices in Phoenix are down 35%; Las Vegas 32% and San Francisco 28%.
Central Bank says Irish residential mortgage lending at historic low in May; Annual growth rate of Private Sector Credit plunged to 0.8% compared with 15.1% in May 2008
The Central Bank of Ireland said today that Irish residential mortgage lending was €18 million lower in May than the prior month – – the second consecutive month of decline. The annual growth rate was down to 2.6 per cent in May, an historic low. Mortgage debt outstanding has remained relatively flat since the beginning of 2009. The Bank said following a fall of over €100 million in April 2009, residential mortgages (including securitised mortgages) declined by €18 million in May. This trend of repayments exceeding new mortgage lending has not been evident at any stage prior to April since the series began in 1990, and reflects the continuing low levels of activity in the housing market. The annual growth rate of Private Sector Credit (PSC) adjusted to account for exchange-rate movements, slowed to 0.8 per cent in May, from a revised 1.6 per cent in April. This compares with an annual growth rate of 15.1 per cent in May 2008.
Eurozone annual inflation turned negative in June for the first time on record, falling 0.1% over 12 months, according to a flash estimate today from the Eurostat, the EU statistics office.