The government announced that VAT receipts are behind forecasts but what the hell did they expect after the April budget?... "Tax receipts are some €575m, or 3%, behind that profile, mainly due to a shortfall of VAT (€448m behind)." Personally I'm down about €300 per month since then. Of course my (and everyone else's) discretionary spending was going to drop.
90% of the people who were in employment during the boom still are and, of those, it appears that about 40% of private sector workers have been forced to take a pay cut by their employer (through pay cuts but more so through reduced hours, reduced overtime and reduced bonuses; and 100% of public servants have taken an effective pay cut).
But people, being the lemmings they are, have also reversed their spendthrift ways and started saving. A lot. "Recent revisions to national accounts showed that the Irish household savings rate fell to 2.3% in 2007 (bar 2000, the lowest proportion of after-tax income ever saved). That rate has spiked to over 12% in 2009, equating to a massive withdrawal of spending from the economy. It has overshot and precautionary saving will eventually ease. Possible triggers for a reversal include the likelihood of smaller-than-feared tax hikes in December."
So, room for hope after all.
As for my shares the Eurostoxx50 have powered ahead to €26.83 - up 38% on what I bought them at, while MAN Group have been very volatile but are now trading at £2.78, plus I've banked a dividend of 15p per share, meaning a 48% improvement.
This market rally can't continue one would feel. A correction in September seems on the cards. I might cash in the lot in the coming weeks and wait for that correction.