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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020

Small and medium businesses optimistic about economic growth in 2012

Around a third of small and medium businesses say they expect to be more successful next year than they were this year.

NEARLY 60 PER cent of small and medium business owners expect the business environment in Ireland to improve over the next 12 to 18 months according to new research,

The research carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Microsoft Ireland has found that 59 per cent of SMB owners expect the business environment in Ireland to improve over the next 12 to 18 months.

The optimism comes amid growing fears that Ireland could slip back into a recession following negative growth figures which were published last week.

According to the research, around a third (32 per cent) of small and medium businesses expect to be more successful in 2012 than they were in 2011. Around 29 per cent say they expect to hire new staff compared to just 7 per cent who think they will have to make existing staff redundant.

Cloud computing and IT are considered key innovations to help achieve growth and further job creation. A report on cloud computing earlier this year indicated the industry could create as many as 9,000 jobs in Ireland and 2,000 small businesses.

Nearly half of those surveyed (49 per cent) said the use of computer technology will be the deciding factor in whether or not their business does well.

“The level of optimism that exists and the positive forecasts for growth and job creation are very encouraging,” Microsoft Ireland’s managing director Paul Rellis said.

“Irish small and medium business owners fully recognise the importance of their roles in helping Ireland return to growth and their confidence in the role that they can play is to be welcomed.”

This research comes as new data on Friday indicated that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen by 1.9 per cent in the third quarter while Gross National Product (GNP) – considered a more accurate measure of economic performance – is down 2.2 per cent.

We’re heading for a recession… oh, no we’re not?

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Hugh O'Connell

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