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Vast majority of business directors think Brexit will have a negative impact on Irish companies

Irish business sentiment has consistently declined throughout the year, according to research.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is trying to get her Brexit deal over the line.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is trying to get her Brexit deal over the line.
Image: Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis

THE VAST MAJORITY of business directors in Ireland believe Brexit will have a negative impact on their companies.

Nine in 10 directors (89%) think Britain leaving the European Union will have a short-term negative impact, while six in 10 (60%) believe there will also be long-term negative consequences.

The figures are included in the latest quarterly survey carried out by the Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD), which was published today.

Irish business sentiment has consistently declined throughout the year, with only 32% of business leaders remaining optimistic about the Irish economy in Q4, down from 35% in Q3, 46% in Q2 and 52% in Q1.

Some of the other key findings are as follows:

  • The single biggest risk factor, cited by 32% of business leaders, facing their organisation is Brexit – compared to 26% in Q3
  • 60% of business leaders believe that the financial performance of their primary organisation will improve in 2019, an increase of 14% when compared to Q3 (51%)
  • 70% of business leaders believe consumer confidence has been positively impacted by the current government’s performance to date
  • The availability of talent remains of significant concern for business leaders: 62% believe it has decreased – compared to 57% in Q3
  • 43% of respondents believe there will be a general election in 2019, but 29% disagree

Commenting on the results, Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the IoD, said: “It should serve as a worrying indicator that business sentiment has fallen consistently throughout the year, with Brexit remaining the dominant risk we face into 2019.

Also of key concern to our members and their organisations are sustainability and long-term growth prospects, which when coupled with labour talent shortages, signals an uncertain end to the year.

The online survey of 330 IoD members, including chief executives, senior executives, non-executive directors and chairpersons, was conducted between 3 and 10 December.

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Órla Ryan

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