Friday 31 October 2014

Business sentiment at seven and half year high

Sarah Stack

Published 01/05/2014 | 14:50

business sentiment

BUSINESS sentiment has hit its highest level in seven and a half years.

A survey found activity levels have improved in firms, while confidence remains strong as fears about the economy ease.

The sentiment study, which started at a baseline of 100 in 2006, plummeted to 33 by end of 2008 but rose to 122.2 in March this year.

“This new Business Sentiment Index suggests a recovery in Irish companies’ operating environment has continued in early 2014 and is expected to gain momentum as the year progresses,” said economist Austin Hughes.

“It is particularly encouraging that domestic focused companies are reporting improving demand of late. The pick-up in activity is mirrored in job gains while costs remain subdued.”

The survey of 443 managers, by KBC Bank Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland, suggests activity is picking up.

“While companies are more confident in their thinking, they are still cautious in their actions,” Mr Hughes added.

“It’s very good news that a recovery is underway but the survey suggests there is much to be done to ensure the upswing is strong and sustained.”

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